Harnam Singh Saini was a notable Indian revolutionary who participated in Ghadar Conspiracy and was hanged by British colonial government on March 16, 1917 in Lahore for instigating revolt against the empire. He was tried under third Lahore Conspiracy Case trial.
Harnam Singh Saini was son of Gopal Saini. He was resident of village Fatehgarh in district Hoshiarpur.
Involvement in Ghadar Conspiracy
Harnam Singh visited Canada and USA which were the breeding ground of Ghadar Conspiracy. He became an active member of Ghadar Party and participated in sedition.
Shaheed Harnam Singh Saini Achieved Glorious Martyrdom on March 16, 1916
Harnam Singh Saini was arrested in Batavia, a Dutch colony. Nothing incriminating was found on his person or on the ship Maverick in which he was travelling. In spite of this the Dutch authorities of Batavia heeded to the British request and handed him over to the Singapore police. He was taken to Calcutta and then to Lahore.
Trial and execution
He was tried under Third Conspiracy Case at Lahore. The tribunal of this case consisted of Ellis, Major Frizelle, and Rai Bahadur Gopal Das Bhandari. The trial was held in Lahore Central Jail.
The trial began on November 8, 1916 and ended on January 5, 1917. Harnam Singh Saini along with four other Ghadar revolutionaries, namely, Bhai Balwant Singh of Khurdpur, Babu Ram of Fatehgarh, Hafiz Abdullah of Jagraon and Dr. Arur Singh of Sanghwal, was charged with waging war against King Emperor and sentenced to death. Three other co-accused , namely, Karar Singh Nawan Chand, Fazal Din of Fategarh and Munsha Singh of Dukhi of Jandiala were given life imprisonment.
Saini , along with four of his other Ghadar Party comrades, was executed on March 16, 1917. All of their properties were also confiscated.
He could have saved his life by betraying his compatriots in the police torture cell but he chose instead to embrace the noose heroically in an act of supreme sacrifice.
Impact on Later Revolutionaries
Martyrdom of brave Ghadar heroes like Harnam Singh Saini and Kartar Singh Sarabha was to later inspire the revolutionary activities of much celebrated freedom movement heroes like Bhagat Singh and Chander Shekhar Azad into performing similar acts.
Marytrs Like Harnam Singh Saini and Kartar Singh Sarabha were inspiration for later maryrs like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev
"..the second martyr of march 16 was Harnam Singh Saini of Fatehgarh, Hoshiarpur. He was arrested from Battavia by the Dutch." A day to remember Lahore's martyrs, 16 Mar 2002, KS Dhaliwal, Time of India
Punjab Peasant in Freedom Struggle (Volume II), pp 71-72, Master Hari Singh, Published by People's Pub. House, 1984
Flame of Freedom and Hoshiarpur District (Volume 1), Heroes of Hoshiarpur, pp 156-157, OP Ralhan, Research India Publications, New Delhi, 1992 / Editorial Note: Ralhan also gives the name of one Nama Saini separately from Harnam Singh Saini who was also hanged in Lahore. Both are described as sons of Gopal of Fategarh. It might be both of them are the names of the same person.
An account of the Ghadr conspiracy, 1913-1915, pp i , pp 161, F C Isemonger; J Slattery ,Publisher: Meerut : Archana Publ., 1998. Ghadar Party Da Itihas, Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall Committee, Jullundur
Unpublished Account of Ghadar Party Conspiracy Cases, 1914-1918 by Isemonger and Slattery
Sir Michael O'Dwyer, India as I knew it, London, 1925
Ghadar di Gunj, an early Ghadarite compilation of nationalist and socialist literature, was banned in India in 1913. Ghadar Newspaper (Urdu) Vol. 1, No. 22, March 24, 1914
Ghadar Newspaper (Urdu) Vol. 1, No. 22, March 24, 1914