Pistol used by Bhagat Singh to shoot John Saunders revealed 90 years later

The gun killed John Saunders and it was for this that Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hung to death.

Bhagat Singh has been one of the most well known and cited freedom fighters and him having shot British officer John Saunders with a pistol is an incident we are all familiar with. The pistol with which he had shot the officer had been in a storeroom since 1928 and has now been found. The .32 mm Colt Automatic has been put out on display at BSF’s Reoti firing range.

For those of you wondering why today was chosen to unveil the pistol, it was on this date in 1931 that a mercy petition for Bhagat Singh had been filed by Madan Mohan Malviya and Viceroy Lord Irwin rejected it soon after. School students grabbed a look at the pistol and very less people knew of this unveiling that was to take place today.

CSWT Museum’s custodian confirmed the pistol belonged to the freedom fighter and said that he had removed the black paint and matched the serial number with their records. The historic gun was placed in a glass case and opened to public display. Bhagat Singh was a revolutionary who had massive influence on the Independence struggle and was hung to death on March 23 in 1931. Saunders was killed by Rajguru and Singh when the two went out to kill Police Superintendent James Scott. Scott had unleashed lathicharge which eventually led to the death of Lala Lajpat Rai. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were given capital punishment upon conviction for this murder and several petitions by other freedom fighters failed to save the trio.