100 years of Jallianwala Bagh: How the massacre unfolded
New Delhi, Apr 13: Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, one of the worst atrocities of British colonial rule for which London has yet to apologise.
The massacre fuelled India's struggle for complete independence from Britain. On this day, here we take a look at how the tragedy unfolded on this day, exactly 100 years ago.
On April 13, 1999, around 15,000 to 20,000 people had gathered at Jallianwala Bagh in the northern part of Amritsar city on the occasion of Baishakhi.
The British armed forces under the command of General Dyer opened 1,650 rounds of fire at the people gathered for a peaceful protest, killing hundreds of men, women and children trapped inside the garden. Many jumped into a well to save themselves from the hail of bullets. Shrieks of the innocents filled the air but Dyer's men kept on pumping bullets.
It was later stated that 1,650 bullets had been fired (derived by counting empty cartridge cases picked up by the troops). British Indian sources gave a figure of 379 identified dead, with approximately 1,200 wounded. However, Indian officials say more than 1,500 injured, with approximately 1,000 dead.
What were the people protesting for?
On April 10, 1919, a protest was held at the residence of the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar. The demonstration was held to demand the release of two popular leaders of the Indian Independence Movement, Satya Paul and Saifuddin Kitchlew, who had been earlier arrested on account of their protests. The crowd was shot at by British troops, which resulted in more violence.
What is Jallianwala Bagh
Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden located in the holy city of Amritsar and houses the martyrs' memorial which was established in 1951 to commemorate the massacre of hundreds of unarmed and peaceful protestors, including women and children, by the British forces led by Brigadier General R eginald Dyer on April 13, 1919.