10 lesser known facts on Jallianwala Bagh massacre

10 lesser known facts on Jallianwala Bagh massacre

Activists of the All India Anti Terrorist Front (AIATF) hold Indian national flags as they shout patriotic slogans while paying tribute to the martyrs ahead of 100th anniversary of the JallianwalaBagh massacre, at its memorial in Amritsar on Thursday. PTI Photo

The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre is still capable of sending shivers down the spine of every Indian who has heard the story of how it transpired. Violent and gory pictures of the experience have been shared by survivors of one of history’s biggest denial of human rights.

British Prime Minister Theresa May recently made a formal statement to India and called the carnage a shameful scar. Many Indians, including the families of the victims, still experience the impact of the event that changed India’s history. Under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer, soldiers opened fire on a large number of people gathered at Jallianwala Bagh on this day in 1919. It was estimated that over 1,000 people lost their lives and another 1,500 people were injured in the firing.

Here are 10 lesser-known facts about the Jallianwala Bagh Incident:

1. Apart from the main entrance, there was no way for the crowd to escape the garden as the area was surrounded by buildings. This is a major reason for the high number of casualties.

2. Prior to the incident at Jallianwala Bagh, an English missionary named Marcella was attacked and left for dead in the streets by an angry mob protesting against the arrests of two popular leaders of the Indian Independence Movement, Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew.

3. Following the incidents of angry mob attacks and rebellions, on April 12, 1919, Colonel Dyer had issued a proclamation banning public gatherings. However, the general public wasn’t made aware of the same, which led to the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.

4. The gathering was a friendly gathering to celebrate a festival named Baisakhi, one of the biggest festivals in Punjab.

5. Apart from Gurkha and Baluchi soldiers using Scinde rifles, there were also two armoured cars with machine guns that were used in the shooting.

6. According to records, the people gathered were not warned or asked to disperse before Colonel Dyer ordered the firing.

7. The firings stopped only when the soldiers ran out of ammunition.

8. Apart from the people killed and injured by the bullets, many others lost their lives as they fell into a well trying to escape the shooting.

9. Colonel Reginald Dyer was shot dead on 13 March, 1940, by a man named Udham Singh, a member of the revolutionist Ghadar party who was on a mission of revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.

10. The last known survivor of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Shingara Singh, died in Amritsar on June 29, 2009, at the age of 113.


Also read: Jallianwala Bagh massacre centenary: PM pays tributes                

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