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APRIL

12

2019

    HISTORY

    Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

    News: Vice President to pay homage to martyrs at the Centenary of JallianwalaBagh massacre.
    Source: PIB

    Popularly known as the Amritsar Massacre, this incident took place on April 13, 1919, at JallianwalaBagh, Amritsar, Punjab. It marks one of the major heinous political crimes committed by the Britishers during the twentieth century. It is named after the famous JallianwalaBagh, which is a public garden stretched over an area of 7 acres, with walls covering all of its sides.

    Since the beginning of the World War I, there had been an increasing resentment and civil unrest throughout the country especially in the states of West Bengal and Punjab. It was due to the terrible repercussions of the war, like- inflation, heavy taxation, a huge number of dead and wounded soldiers that contributed immensely in uniting the nation against the British Rule. The worsening civil unrest led to the formation of Rowlatt Committee in 1919.

    The Rowlatt Act was a legislative act that allowed certain political cases to be tried without the presence of a jury and permitted internment of suspects without any trial. This is the time when Mahatma Gandhi came to light as a revolutionary. The Act resulted in furious protests throughout the country. The unrest became worst, especially in Punjab.

    There were demonstrations held at the residence of Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar to demand the release of two popular leaders of the Indian Independence Movement- Satya Pal and SaifuddinKitchlew. There were violent protests that resulted in the burning of the Town Hall and Railway station, disruption of telegraphs and communication system. It resulted in many deaths including a few deaths of the European government officials as well as civilians.

    Due to all these activities, the city of Amritsar witnessed a few days of silence while other parts of Punjab suffered. The British Government thus decided to place most of Punjab under Martial Law. Restrictions were placed on the civil liberties that banned public gatherings and prohibited assembling of more people together.

    On 13 April 1919, thousands of people were gathered at JallianwalaBagh in Amritsar, Punjab. This day marks the beginning of New Year for the Sikhs and is also celebrated as Baisakhi festival all over Punjab. People travel days to reach Punjab on this auspicious day to celebrate Baisakhi with their family and loved ones.