Twitter, today, marked the 96th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, where British-Indian troops, comprising mostly of Gurkhas, opened fire at a peaceful gathering of Punjabis on April 13, 1919.
It was General Reginald Dyer who gave the orders to shoot at the unarmed men, women and children, who were staging a protest against the arrest their leaders, and demanding freedom from the British.
Dyer had all the exits blocked so many of those trapped were forced to jump into a well, located inside the Bagh, to escape the volley of bullets. The troops fired until their ammunition was exhausted.
Official British sources put the number of dead at 379 but actual death toll is believed to be much higher. Dyer was removed from his command by the British government.
The Tribune reported that those killed in the massacre were given the status of freedom fighters in 2008. Today, their descendants will reportedly hold a protest to demand benefits such as such as reservation in jobs, free travel and priority in gas or petrol pump dealership.
The tragedy, one of the most horrific instances of brutality to suppress India's independence movement, and deeply saddening for Indians to this day, remains a sore point between India and Britain. Relatives of the dead believe that Britain has not been adequately censured for the killing of innocent protestors, and its government have never fully apologised.
In 1997, Queen Elizabeth paid 30 seconds of silent homage at Jallianwala Bagh. In 2013, David Cameron was the first serving British prime minister to visit the site of the massacre, but he too stopped short of delivering an apology.
"In my view," he said, "we are dealing with something here that happened a good 40 years before I was even born, and which Winston Churchill described as 'monstrous' at the time and the British government rightly condemned at the time. So I don't think the right thing is to reach back into history and to seek out things you can apologise for."
Here is how Twitter remembered Jallianwala Bagh:
जलियांवाला बाग में शहीद हुए देशभक्तों को शत् शत् नमन। pic.twitter.com/Fl0uXZxwuC— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 13, 2015
Let us remember today the supreme sacrifice of martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh in 1919 & pay our respectful tribute to them.— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) April 13, 2015
A great salute to all martyrs of #JallianwalaBagh massacre. A day to remember the price, our ancestors paid for freedom.— Deepak Pal (@Deepakpal) April 13, 2015
Today, 96 years ago General Dyer did something which makes me so mad that even today I want to thrash him. #JallianwalaBagh Massacre— shubham pacharne (@imShubhamP) April 13, 2015
A debt we can never fully repay. Grateful for their bravery and sacrifice. #JallianwalaBagh massacre— Panglossian (@tweetingmantis) April 13, 2015
Jallianwala Bagh will never be forgotten.. And neither will Shaheed Udham Singh for his sacrifice subsequently #JallianwalaBagh— Abhimanyu Arora (@Darth_Foodius) April 13, 2015
What made this even more shameful was the public felicitation of General Dyer in LondonApril 13, 2015
#JallianwalaBagh is the tragedy for which the brutal murderers of the gory event can never be forgiven.— Amit Khambete (@AmitK_790) April 13, 2015
Sinking in my chair thinking about the #JallianwalaBagh tragedy.— Aakash Singh (@AK40Singh) April 13, 2015
Whenever I hear abt #JallianwalaBagh, I remember my school's drill instructor. He was so influenced by Bhagat Singh's experience there 🍂💐— ɐɯ1ʎɐ (@am1ya19)
href="https://twitter.com/am1ya19/status/587486307741384704">April 13, 2015
The people who have really made history are the martyrs.
My sincere homage to them.April 13, 2015
For me #JallianwalaBagh is one of the holiest places in India... for no where else has the land been tilled by the blood of so many Saheeds!— Jorebungley (@Jorebungley) April 13, 2015
Words are not enough to describe how disturbing and brutal the day of 13 April 1919 was in the #JallianwalaBagh .
Tribute to all the martyrs— Indian Satires (@IndianSatires) April 13, 2015