Published: 13th April 2021
What the FAQ: What happened at Amritsar's Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919?
Jallianwala Bagh became a key point in the history of India’s struggle movement for independence and it is now a relevant monument in India
As the Jallianwala Bagh massacre completes 102 years on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the victims of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and said their courage, heroism and sacrifice give strength to every Indian. "Tributes to those martyred in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Their courage, heroism and sacrifice give strength to every Indian," he tweeted. Here's what happened on the fateful day that changed the face of India's history.
When did the Jallianwala Bagh massacre take place?
Today is the 102nd anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that took place on April 13 in 1919. Hundreds of people were killed as a result of indiscriminate firing by the British troops in Jallianwala Bagh at Punjab's Amritsar. Thousands of innocent people had gathered to mark the auspicious occasion of Baisakhi at the historic park in Amritsar, which had just a single narrow exit gate. Then acting Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer blocked the exit gate and surrounded the area with his troops, following the orders of Michael Francis O’Dwyer, the lieutenant governor of Punjab. Dyer then ordered them to open fire, killing hundreds of innocent Indians and injuring more than 1,200 at the venue.
Why did Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer carry out the attack?
Ahead of the massacre, an English missionary had been attacked by angry mobs. The latter were protesting the arrest of two leaders of the independence movement. It forced acting Brigadier Reginald Dyer to impose Martian Law. No public gathering was allowed but people were not made aware of this fact.
How many shots were fired?
A total of around 1,650 rounds were fired for over 10 to 15 minutes, and the firing only ended when the troops ran out of ammunition. The incident is seen as a crucial turning point in the freedom movement of India. The troops retreated from the location as soon as the firing ended, leaving the dead and the wounded untended.
What happened after that?
The official count was 379 dead, even though the real numbers were probably much more. Following the massacre, the British government cracked down even harder, the whole state of Punjab was put under martial law, and the people of Amritsar were ostracised by forcing them to crawl on their bellies in front of whites.