Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

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Paying tribute to India’s freedom fighters

Durgawati Devi

Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh

August 14, 2021


Durgawati Devi or Durga Bhabhi, also known as the 'The Agni of India', is remembered to this day as a threat to the British police. She had tremendous influence on revolutionaries such as Bhagat Singh, Ashafaqullah and Chandra Shekhar Azad. She also wielded a strong influence on the members of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). She was a Bengali, married at the age of 11 years to Professor BhagwatiCharan Vohra (a member of HSRA, who had planned to bomb the jail in order to free Bhagat Singh but sadly died while testing the bomb on the banks of Ravi near Lahore).

Durgawati Devi was an active member of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, and she assisted in the escape of Bhagat Singh from Lahoreafter the Saunders killing (1928).Herself and Bhagat Singh duped as a couple and escaped to Calcutta, with Rajguru as their servant. Durga met several revolutionaries along with Bhagat Singh, and learned bomb-making. She openly opposed the sentence awarded to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. She even sold her ornaments worth Rs. 3,000 in order to rescue Bhagat Singh and his comrades.As a revenge for their hanging,Durga decided to kill Lord Hailey (ex-Governor of Punjab), who was also a staunch enemy of the revolutionaries. Although the Governor escaped, his aides were injured. She was arrested and awarded imprisonment for three years.