The town attained national eminence on 9th August 1925 with the ‘Kakori Conspiracy’, a well-documented testament of India’s freedom struggle, when a group of revolutionaries braved death to capture the British treasury being ferried in the Shahjahanpur-Lucknow section of the Northern Railway. These brave young men shared a common affiliation as members of the Hindustan Republican Association [HRA], later re-christened as Hindustan Socialist Republican Association [HSRA] whose sole aim was to overthrow the British rule through armed revolution. When caught, most of them were either hanged or deported for life for trials under the Birtish were generally farcical.
As the legend goes, one of its members, Pt. Ramprasad Bismil, who often traveled the Shahjahanpur-Lucknow route, observed that the British treasury was loaded and transported to Lucknow with the minimum of security measures. This is how the seed of thought to loot the treasure-chest germinated in his mind, to help fund the activities of the HRA. At the fall of dusk, when Number 8 Down was about to touch Kakori, the group of revolutionaries that had boarded the train, pulled the chain and overpowered the guard. The steel box carrying the cash was pulled out. Though, it had a hole in the middle through which cash used to be dumped in, the box was so huge that no hand could reach down below to pull out the currency notes. It required a few hefty blows by a stout Ashfaqullah Khan to break open the lock. A sum of Rs. 10,000/- of the British Treasury was taken out and transferred to gunny bags which were then carried away by the revolutionaries in batches.