Sukhdev (15th May 1907 – March 23, 1931) was an Indian revolutionary. He is best known as an accomplice of Bhagat Singh and Shivaram Rajguru in the killing of a British police officer in 1928 in order to take revenge for the death of veteran leader Lala Lajpat Rai due to excessive police beating. All three were convicted of the crime and hanged in Lahore Central Jail on March 23, 1931
Sukhdev was an active memeber of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, being one of the senior most leaders. He is known to have started study circles at National College (Lahore) in order to delve into India’s past as well as to scrutinize the finer aspects of the Russian Revolution. He also participated in the 1929 Prison hunger strike to protest against the inhumane treatment meted out to the inmates. His letter to Mahatma Gandhi written just prior to his hanging, protesting against the latter’s disapproval of revolutionary tactics, throws light on the disparities between the two majors schools of thought among Indian freedom fighers.
However, Hansraj Vohra, the man who gave the clinching testimony that resulted in the hanging of the trio, claimed that Sukhdev had himself turned an approver.
Nevertheless, this relatively baseless contention does not detract from the tremendous courage, patriotism and self-sacrifice that Sukhdev Thapar embodifies, as is evident in the recent naming of a school after him, in his native Ludhiana (city in Punjab).