Saturday, December 14, 2019
Opinion » This day, that year

Posted at: Nov 20, 2019, 6:38 AM; last updated: Nov 20, 2019, 6:38 AM (IST)

General Dyer before the Enquiry Committee


THE whole of the morning session on Wednesday was taken up by the Disorders Enquiry Committee in examining General Dyer, Martial Law Administrator at Amritsar during the recent disturbances. The Hall was very crowded and the number of European ladies attending the sittings had considerably increased. In fact the two front benches were almost wholly occupied by them. General Dyer was examined at very great length by Lord Hunter. He began by saying that he was stationed at Jullundur as Officer Commanding the 48th Brigade. He arrived at Amritsar at about 9 o’clock in the evening on the 11th and took over the charge of administering the city from Mr. Miles Irving, Deputy Commissioner. Witness deposed to having found on his arrival the attitude of the Amritsar people to be very hostile. He issued certain orders which he believed were issued through the police. He could not say whether proper steps were taken to have his order made known to the people. Coming to the proclamation prohibiting meeting on the 13th April, he said it took him several hours to promulgate it. He believed that the proclamation was properly read. He remembered having gone to a good many places, but as he did not know Amritsar well he could not say whether he went to all important places in the city. Asked by Lord Hunter if he would fire on a crowd gathered at a meeting without warning, witness replied that it depended upon circumstances. He stated that he was at the city when the news about a meeting at the Jallianwala Bagh was brought to him. It was about half-past one or a little earlier. Questioned as to why he did not take measures to prevent men from assembling at the Bagh, he said he had no time to do so, as he had to organise his forces, think out his plans and make up his mind, and moreover, he did not believe that people would really hold a meeting after his orders.


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