The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre was one of the cruellest and most bloody episodes in Indian history, with over 1,000 people killed. The fact that British soldiers under Acting Brigadier Reginald Dyer opened fire in front of a crowd of unarmed civilians adds to the incident’s significance.
The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place on April 13, 1919, on the day of Vaisakhi or Vaishaki, a prominent Punjabi celebration. Since then, on this day, Indians have commemorated the lives of several persons who perished on that day, as well as those who survived to relate the horror.
Here are some key details about the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre that you should be aware of:
1. The death toll was much more than shown
While the official death toll in the Jallainwalla Bagh massacre was 379 people killed and 192 injured, sources claimed that more than 1,000 people died and 1,200 people were injured.
2. It was a heart-wrenching incident
Not everyone who perished as a result of the soldiers’ shots was a civilian. Many people died in the stampede that followed, while others jumped into the park’s well. Officials dug up nearly 120 bodies from the well. Some of the badly injured died because they were unable to stand.
3. The colourful festival turned into a blood bath
Because Jallianwala Bagh ringed on all sides by fortifications, with only one main gate and two or three tiny exit lanes, General Dyer took the most voyeuristic advantage of the situation, closing the exit gates and ordering his riflemen to open fire on the crowd.
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The firing continued until the ammo supply was depleted, killing a large number of innocent people.
4. The suspension wasn’t justice
After significant Indian aggressiveness, the government suspended General Dyer, who quietly withdrew to Britain.
However, the ruling country’s karma came full circle when a witness to the atrocities, Sardar Udham Singh, shot Michael O’Dwyer in his motherland of London on March 30, 1940. It was in retaliation for the massacre.
Michael O’Dwyer was rumoured to be Dyer’s planner and quiet supporter.
5. Open fire on innocent souls
Thousands of unarmed Indians had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh. An open location with only one exit, to celebrate Baisakhi. Also, conduct a protest against the detention of the two leaders, unaware of the order.
Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer arrived at the Jallianwala Bagh with the intent of punishing civilians for ‘disobedience’. Additionally, he sealed off the exit to guarantee no one could flee.
Moreover, he ordered troops to open fire on tens of thousands of innocent civilians.
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