Freedom Movement and Peshawar Conspiracy Cases
‘The Peshawar Communist Conspiracy Cases’ is a less known chapter in our freedom movement. In the beginning of the paper, the introductory note gives the background of the emergence of Communist Party of India (CPI) in Tashkent on 17 October 1920. The ten members of the CPI returned to India and were arrested. The paper narrates the detailed story of the five conspiracy cases. The first case was Crown Vs Muhammad Akbar Qureshi in which Hafizullah Khan and his servant were tried and sentenced in May 1922. Another case was launched against Mohammad Akbar Qureshi on breach of jail discipline. The third Peshawar Conspiracy case against Akbar Shah and seven others began before the inquiring magistrate of Peshawar on 7 March 1923. Two years rigorous imprisonment each to Muhammad Akbar Shah and Gawhar Rehman Khan, while one year rigorous imprisonment each to Mir Abdul Majid, Ferozuddin Mansur, Habib Ahmad, Rafiq Ahmad and Sultan Mahmud was passed on 19 May 1923. Similarly Crown vs. Mohammad Shafiq, was the fourth case. He was sentenced three years rigorous imprisonment. The fifth and final Peshawar Conspiracy case was launched against Fazal Elahi Qurban in 1927; he was given five years rigorous imprisonment. The accused filed an appeal against the conviction. The additional judicial commissioner maintained the conviction but reduced the sentence to three years of rigorous imprisonment.