Sukhdev Thapar (15 May 1907 – 23 March 1931) was an Indian revolutionary. He was a senior member of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. He was hanged on 23 March 1931 at the age of 23. His ancestral house is in Naughara Mohalla of Ludhiana town, Punjab, India. He was son of Ram Lal and Ralli Devi.
Sukhdev was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA), and organised revolutionary cells in Punjab and other areas of North India. He was the chief of Punjab unit of HSRA and instrumental in taking decisions.
Sukhdev is best remembered for his involvement in the Lahore Conspiracy Case of 18 December 1928 and its aftermath. He was an associate of Bhagat Singh and Shivaram Rajguru, who assassinated Deputy Superintendent of Police, J. P. Saunders in 1928 in response to the violent death of the veteran leader Lala Lajpat Rai.
Sukhdev participated in numerous revolutionary activities such as the 'Prison hunger strike' in 1929; he is best known for his assaults in the Lahore Conspiracy Case (18 December 1928). Sukhdev was the prime accused in the Lahore Conspiracy Case of 1930, whose title reads "Crown versus Sukhdev and others". The first information report (FIR) of the Lahore Conspiracy Case, filed by Hamilton Harding, senior superintendent of police, in the court of R.S. Pandit, special magistrate in April 1929, mentions Sukhdev as accused number 1. It describes him as Swami alias villager, son of Ram Lal, caste Thapar Khatri. In a list of 25 accused, Bhagat is on the 12th position, while Rajguru is on the 20th position. It's Sukhdev who leads the pack. Bhagat Singh and Shivaram Rajguru, who had been concerned in the assassination of Deputy Superintendent of Police, J.P. Saunders in 1928, consequently avenging the death of veteran leader, Lala Lajpat Rai, owing to lethal police beating within the Conspiracy case. After the Central Assembly Hall bombings in New Delhi (8 April 1929), Sukhdev and his accomplices were arrested and convicted of their crime, going through the loss of life sentence as the verdict.
A reign of terror in the city of Cawnpore in the United Provinces and an attack on Mahatma Gandhi by a youth outside Karachi were among the answers of the Indian extremists today to the hanging of Bhagat Singh and two fellow-assassins.
B.R.Ambedkar, writing in an editorial in his newspaper Janata, blamed the British government for its decision to go ahead with the execution of the trio (Sukhdev, Rajguru and Bhagat SIngh) despite strong popular public opinion in India in support of these revolutionaries. He felt that the decision to execute the trio was not taken in the true spirit of justice, but was driven by the Labour Party-led British government's fear of backlash from the Conservative Party and a need to appease public opinion in England. The Gandhi-Irwin pact, signed just weeks before the execution, was viewed by the Conservatives as having dented the prestige of the British Empire. In such a situation, if the British government or the Viceroy of India commuted the death sentence awarded to the trio convicted of assassinating a British policeman, it would have given the Conservatives more ammunition to criticize an already weak British government in the parliament.
National Martyrs Memorial is located at Hussainiwala, where Sukhdev, along with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru was cremated. Every year on 23 March martyrs day (Shaheed diwas) is observed remembering three revolutionaries. Tributes and homage is paid at the memorial.
Amar Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Inter-State Bus Terminal is the main bus stand of Ludhiana city, the birthplace of Sukhdev.