Prelims level : Indian History Mains level : GS-I (The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors, contributions from different parts of the country)
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Why in News:

  • The British government has refused to apologise for the Jallianwala bagh massacre during a debate in the House of Commons.


Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

  • Gandhiji gave a call for a mighty hartal on 6 April 1919.
  • The people responded with unprecedented enthusiasm. The Government decided to meet the popular protest with repression, particularly in the Punjab. It was a Baisakhi day and the people were peaceful, unarmed, most of the crowd was villagers and were not aware that the sarkar has banned the meeting
  • An unarmed but large crowd had gathered on 13 April 1919 at Jallianwalla Bagh to protest against the arrest of their popular leaders, Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew and Dr. Satyapal.
  • Jallianwala Bagh (located in Amritsar, Punjab) was a large open space which was enclosed on three sides by buildings and had only one exit.
  • General Dyer surrounded the Bagh (garden) with his army until closed the exit with his troops, and then ordered his men to shoot onto the trapped crowd.
  • They fired till their ammunition was exhausted.
  • Thousands were killed and wounded. After this massacre, martial law was proclaimed throughout the Punjab and the people were submitted to most uncivilized atrocities.

Hunter Committee Report:

  • The Jallianwala Bagh massacre was followed by establishment of a non-official enquiry committee by Congress. The British Government did not initiate such inquiry till Congress had set up such committee. Later, the Government established a committee headed by Lord Hunter a Senator of the “College of justice of Scotland”. This committee had 7 members viz. 4 British and 3 Indians
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