General Reginald Dyer or Butcher of Amritsar: Man behind Jallianwala Bagh massacre and crawling lane incident
April 13, 1919! It’s been 103 years and still, this day considers it to be the darkest one in the history of India’s independence movement. The auspicious day of Baisakhi turned into a black day for thousands of people. Jallianwala Bagh, a garden that was once green and flowering turned into a bloodbath after British Colonial General Reginald Dyer ordered troops to start firing without warning until they ran out of bullets.
Who was General Reginald Dyer?
Colonel Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, CB was an infamous officer of the Bengal Army, and later the newly formed British Indian Army, who ordered the killing of over 400 unarmed civilians in Punjab. He was the mastermind behind the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar that took place on April 13, 1919.
Dyer has been called ‘the Butcher of Amritsar’, because of his order to fire on a peaceful crowd. According to the official report, at least 379 people were killed and a thousand others were wounded.
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General Dyer was not only responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre but also for the crawling lane incident that took place on April 19. What is a crawling lane incident?
Dyer also made the people of Khoo Korian lane crawl on the street before he had their bodies lashed. In Punjabi, a ‘Khoo’ is a well, and ‘korian’ is flogging. As a result, Khoo Korian acts as a reminder that Dyer’s fury did not stop on April 13, 1919. He wished to punish Amritsar even more severely.
Dyer issued the ‘crawling order’ for the street where Miss Sherwood had been assaulted on April 19th. The order, which was tightly implemented, prohibited Indians from passing through the lane and required them to crawl if they did. They were beaten with repeated stripes after being tied to tiktikis (flogging posts).
People in Amritsar still remember Dyer as a living monster, a khooni Dyer, a paapi Dyer, a katil Dyer and a kasai Dyer. The fear and anxiety that Dyer instilled in the residents of Khoo Korian is still present. Stories of his furious wrath have been passed down through the years as tales of woe and suffering engraved into the public’s mind. Dyer died of cerebral hemorrhage and arteriosclerosis in 1927.
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre: What was the reason behind Amritsar massacre in 1919? Know why April 13 is called the darkest day in Indian history
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