Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar

JALLIANWALA BAGH MASSACRE, involved the killing of hundreds of unarmed, defenceless Indians by a senior British militry officer, took place on 13 April 1919 in the heart of Amritsar, the holiest city of the Sikhs, on a day sacred to them as the birth anniversary of the Khalsa.

On Sunday, 13 April 1919, Dyer was convinced of a major insurrection and he banned all meetings, however this notice was not widely disseminated. That was the day of Baisakhi, the main Sikh festival, and many villagers had gathered in the Bagh. On hearing that a meeting had assembled at Jallianwala Bagh, Dyer went with fifty Gurkha riflemen to a raised bank and ordered them to shoot at the crowd. Dyer continued the firing for about ten minutes, until the ammunition supply was almost exhausted; Dyer stated that 1,650 rounds had been fired, a number which seems to have been derived by counting empty cartridge cases picked up by the troops.Official British Indian sources gave a figure of 379 identified dead,with approximately 1,100 wounded. The casualty number estimated by the Indian National Congress was more than 1,500, with approximately 1,000 dead.

Dyer was initially lauded by conservative forces in the empire, but in July 1920 he was censured and forced to retire by the House of Commons.He became a celebrated hero in Britain among most of the people connected to the British Raj,[8] for example, the House of Lords,but unpopular in the House of Commons, that voted against Dyer twice.The massacre caused a re-evaluation of the army’s role, in which the new policy became “minimum force”, and the army was retrained and developed suitable tactics for crowd control.Some historians consider the episode as a decisive step towards the end of British rule in India,although others believe that greater self-government was inevitable as a result of India’s involvement in World War.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s