The Jallianwala Bagh massacre is the bloodiest attack that India has witnessed during the British era. It took place on April 13, 1919, when the troops of the British army, under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer, fired machine guns into the crowd of civilians, unarmed protestors and pilgrims, who gathered in Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab’s Amritsar to celebrate Baisakhi. Also Read - Jallianwala Bagh Massacre: PM Modi Pays Tribute on 101st Anniversary | 5 Things to Know
The firing which continued for ten minutes killed 379 and left 1,200 injured. General Dyer who was Amritsar’s acting military commander had banned public gatherings of over four people but protestors assembled at Jallianwala Bagh to celebrate the Punjabi harvest festival. Many also died in the stampede while trying to flee bullets, while a lot of people died jumping into an unused well. Also Read - 'Amit Shah Like General Dyer,' NCP Defends Uddhav Thackeray's 'Jallianwala Bagh' Remark
On this day, netizens have paid tribute to the martyrs of the massacre. One user tweeted, “We celebrate Baisakhi today. It is also a black day in our history. It was today in 1919 that hundreds of peaceful protesters were killed in #jallianwalabagh. They were demanding the release of Dr Saifuddin Kichlew and Dr Satyapal, who were the popular youth leaders of Punjab.” Also Read - 'Insult to Martyrs,' Says BJP After Sena Chief Compares Police Crackdown at Jamia to Jallianwala Bagh Incident
Another wrote, “On this day 101 years back, Cold-blooded massacre happened at #jallianwalabagh. It was Sunday & around 15,000 Sikh’s of Amritsar were celebrating their new year Baisakhi at the 7 acre park. It was evening & the British came with around 90 footsoldiers & the 1st thing they did.”
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The Indian National Congress built a structure in the memory of the innocent lives lost in the incident. The memorial was inaugurated in 1961 by Rajendra Prasad in the presence of Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders.