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90 Years After He Shot John Saunders, Bhagat Singh's Pistol Identified

It is a .32mm Colt automatic pistol.

16/02/2017 12:34 AM IST | Updated 16/02/2017 2:20 PM IST
NARINDER NANU via Getty Images
An Indian school girl draws a portrait of the historical Indian freedom fighter Shaheed Bhagat Singh during an art competition at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar on April 13, 2012.

Ninety years on, the gun that Bhagat Singh's turned against British officer John Saunders on 17 December 1928 has been identified. Singh and Shivaram Rajguru shot and killed Saunders, who, many held responsible for the death Lala Lajpat Rai during the protests against the Simon Commission.

The .32mm Colt automatic pistol was on display at the BSF (Border Security Force) Central School of Weapons and Tactics (CWST) but there was no mention that it belonged to the freedom fighter. It went on display for the first time at the BSF's Indore museum on Tuesday, The Indian Express reported.

Vijendra Singh, custodian of the CSWT museum, told The Times of India, "We were surprised when we removed the black paint on the pistol and matched the serial number (168896) with our records last year. It was Bhagat Singh's pistol."

TOI reported that many people didn't know that Bhagat Singh's gun would be on display on Tuesday, and the realization left them awestruck.

After killing Saunders and eluding capture, Bhagat Singh along with Batukeshawar Dutt, threw bombs inside the Central legislative Assembly on 8 April, 1929. He was hanged on March 23, 1931.

The Indian Express pointed out that Tuesday, the day on which the gun was first displayed, coincides with the date in 1931 of British Viceroy Lord Irwin rejecting the final mercy petition by former Congress president Madan Mohan Malaviya.

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