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Colonel Reginald Edward Harry Dyer was a British Indian Army officer who, as a temporary Brigadier general, was responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar (in the British Indian province of Punjab). Dyer was removed from duty, but he became a celebrated hero in Britain, particularly among people with connections to the British Raj. Some historians argue the episode was a decisive step towards the end of British rule in India.

Brigadier Dyer is notorious for the orders that he gave on 13 April 1919 in Amritsar. It was by his command that 50 troops, including 25 Gurkhas of 1st/9th Gurkha Rifles, 25 Pathans and Baluch of 54th Sikhs and 59th Sindh Rifles, all armed with .303 Lee-Enfield rifles opened fire on a gathering of unarmed civilians, including women and children.

The civilians had assembled at Jallianwala Bagh to participate in the annual Baisakhi celebrations which are both a religious and a cultural festival of the Punjabis. Coming from outside the city, they may have been unaware of the martial law that had been imposed. The Bagh-space comprised 6 to 7 acres (28,000 m2) and was walled on all sides except for five entrances. Four of these entrances were very narrow, admitting only a few people at a time. The fifth entrance was blocked by the armed soldiers, as well as by two armoured cars with machine guns. (These vehicles were unable to pass through the entrance.) Upon entering the park, the General ordered the troops to shoot directly into the gathering. Shooting continued until his troops' supply of 1,650 rounds of ammunition was almost exhausted. The shooting continued unabated for about 10 minutes.

The official reports quote 379 dead and over 1,000 injured. However, Dr. Smith, a British civil surgeon at Amritsar, indicated over 1,800 casualties. The deliberate infliction of these casualties earned General Dyer the epithet of the "Butcher of Amritsar" in India. The actual estimates were suppressed by the government for political reasons.

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Colonel Reginald Edward Harry Dyer was a British Indian Army officer who, as a temporary Brigadier general, was responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar (in the British Indian province of Punjab). Dyer was removed from duty, but he became a celebrated hero in Britain, particularly among people with connections to the British Raj. Some historians argue the episode was a decisive step towards the end of British rule in India.

Brigadier Dyer is notorious for the orders that he gave on 13 April 1919 in Amritsar. It was by his command that 50 troops, including 25 Gurkhas of 1st/9th Gurkha Rifles, 25 Pathans and Baluch of 54th Sikhs and 59th Sindh Rifles, all armed with .303 Lee-Enfield rifles opened fire on a gathering of unarmed civilians, including women and children.

The civilians had assembled at Jallianwala Bagh to participate in the annual Baisakhi celebrations which are both a religious and a cultural festival of the Punjabis. Coming from outside the city, they may have been unaware of the martial law that had been imposed. The Bagh-space comprised 6 to 7 acres (28,000 m2) and was walled on all sides except for five entrances. Four of these entrances were very narrow, admitting only a few people at a time. The fifth entrance was blocked by the armed soldiers, as well as by two armoured cars with machine guns. (These vehicles were unable to pass through the entrance.) Upon entering the park, the General ordered the troops to shoot directly into the gathering. Shooting continued until his troops' supply of 1,650 rounds of ammunition was almost exhausted. The shooting continued unabated for about 10 minutes.

The official reports quote 379 dead and over 1,000 injured. However, Dr. Smith, a British civil surgeon at Amritsar, indicated over 1,800 casualties. The deliberate infliction of these casualties earned General Dyer the epithet of the "Butcher of Amritsar" in India. The actual estimates were suppressed by the government for political reasons. More...

 
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