A Liverpool businessman was shot dead in India in a case of mistaken identity by a revolutionary who was later hanged for the killing.
On the afternoon of Saturday 12th January 1924 a Bengalee man named Gopinath Saha shot at a man in Chowringhee Road in the European quarter of Calcutta. After the man fell to the ground Saha then pumped six more bullets into his body as he lay motionless, before running off and firing indiscriminately with a pistol and revolver.
A taxi driver who joined in the chase being shot at and badly wounded, but after a quarter of a mile Saha managed to stop a private car and threatened to shoot the driver if he didn't take him away. However the brave man refused and the subsequent bullet only grazed him before a tramcar driver did manage to grab hold of Saha and hand him over to the police.
The two badly wounded men were taken to the hospital where the European died from his injuries. He was named as 36 year old unmarried businessman Ernest Day of the Indian General Steam Navigation Company. He was the son of a Liverpool sea captain of the White Star Line and had been in India ten years, returning home only once during that period. He had been expected to come home for twelve months leave later that year.
Police officers searched Saha's home in the Serampore district of the city and recovered a number of documents. They then moved on to the Indian National congress where some suspected co-conspirators were arrested. Eighteen year old Saha, who had given up his studies two months earlier to join the non co-operation movement, appeared in court on the Monday morning. He apologised for killing an innocent man but said he hoped there would be another patriot willing to carry out his intended task, that of killing Calcutta's police commissioner Sir Charles Tegart.
When Saha stood trial on 16th February his defence counsel tried to plead insanity, but the prosecution successfully argued that the fact he tried to escape was an indication he knew he had done wrong. This led to a guilty verdict and the death sentence being passed. He was hanged on 1st March.