A scene of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Amritsar, 1919 (Hindustan Times)
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paid tribute to the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
“Tributes to those martyred in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Their courage, heroism and sacrifice gives strength to every Indian. (sic)”
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on April 13, 1919, when Acting Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Dyer ordered troops of the British Indian Army to open fire at a crowd of unarmed Indian civilians in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab. The massacre killed at least 379 people and injured over 1,200 other people. Unofficial versions put the death toll at 1,000.
Udham Singh, an Indian independence activist from Sunam, who had witnessed the events in Amritsar and had himself been wounded, avenged the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
On March 13, 1940, Udham Singh shot and killed Michael O’Dwyer at Caxton Hall in London. Michael O’Dwyer was the Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab at the time of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and had approved Dyer’s action.
After trial and conviction, Udham Singh was hanged in July 1940.
While in custody, Udham Singh called himself “Ram Mohammad Singh Azad”: the first three words of the name reflect the three major religious communities of Punjab (Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh); the last word “azad” ( free). (PW News)