Saturday, 8 September 2012

The butcher of Amritser Colonel Reginald Edward Harry Dyer CB

Present Indian Generation has to know this man and what scarifies we Indians gave to win our freedom from Britain: Independence is not a easy going and getting one. USA and India Both paid the price! A huge price for upholding their freedom!   USA too lost many lives in their war to freedom!

Colonel Reginald Edward Harry Dyer CB (9 October 1864 – 23 July 1927) was a British Indian Army officer who as a temporary Brigadier-General was responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar (in the British India province of Punjab). Dyer was removed from duty but he became a celebrated hero in Britain among people with connections to the British Raj. Historians consider the episode was a decisive step towards the end of British rule in India

Dyer was born in Murree, in the Punjab province of British India, which is now in Pakistan. He was the son of an Irish brewer who managed the famed Murree Brewery. He spent his childhood in Simla and received his early education at the Bishop Cotton School in Simla. He attended Midleton College, County Cork, Ireland between 1875 and 1881. In 1885, soon after attendance at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst he was commissioned into the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) as a Lieutenant, and performed riot control duties in Belfast (1886) and served in the Third Burmese War (1886–87). He was then transferred to the British Indian Army, joining initially the Bengal Staff Corps as a Lieutenant in 1887 and being attached to the 39th Bengal Infantry, later transferring to the 29th Punjabis. He served in the latter in the Black Mountain campaign (1888), the relief of Chitral (1895) (being promoted Captain in 1896) and the Mahsud blockade (1901–02). In 1901 he was appointed a Deputy Assistant Adjutant General. He was then transferred to the 25th Punjabis. In August 1903 he was promoted to Major, and served with the Landi Kotal Expedition (1908). He commanded the 25th Punjabis in India and Hong Kong and was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1910. During World War I (1914–18), he commanded the Seistan Force, for which he was mentioned in despatches and made a Companion of the Bath (CB). He was promoted Colonel in 1915, and was made a temporary Brigadier-General in 1916. In 1919, about a month after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, in the Third Anglo-Afghan War, his Brigade relieved the garrison of Thal, for which he was again mentioned in despatches. 5th Brigade at Jamrud was his last command posting for a few months during 1919. He retired on 17 July 1920, retaining the rank of Colonel.

Crawling order

Brigadier Dyer designated the spot where Miss Marcella Sherwood was assaulted sacred and daytime pickets were placed at either end of the street. Anyone wishing to proceed in the street between 6am and 8pm was made to crawl the 200 yards (180 m) on all fours, lying flat on their bellies. The order was not required at night due to a curfew. The order effectively closed the street. The houses did not have any back doors and the inhabitants could not go out without climbing down from their roofs. This order was in effect from 19 April until 25 April 1919. No doctor or supplier was allowed in, resulting in the sick being unattended.

Brigadier Dyer is known best for the orders which 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, at the Jallianwalla Bagh in what came to be known later as the Amritsar massacre.

The civilians had assembled at Jallianwala Bagh to participate with the annual Baisakhi celebrations which are both a religious and a cultural festival of the Punjabis. Being 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 assembled gathering. Shooting continued until his troops' supply of 1,650 rounds of ammunition was almost exhausted. The shooting continued unabated for about 10 minutes.

From time to time, Dyer "checked his fire and directed it upon places where the crowd was thickest"; he did this not because the crowd was slow to disperse, but because he (the General) "had made up his mind to punish them for having assembled there." Some of the soldiers initially shot into the air, at which General Dyer shouted: "Fire low. What have you been brought here for?"Later, Dyer's own testimony revealed that the crowd was not given any warning to disperse and he was not remorseful for having ordered his troops to shoot.

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