Hunter Committee

A Committee named Hunter Committee was set up to investigate the Jallianwala bagh incident. Following is the conversation which took place between the committee and the main accuse General Dyer. Excuse me putting it that way, General, but was it not a resort to what has been called "frightfulness" for the benefit of the Punjab district (sic.) as a whole? I don't think so. I think it was a horrible duty for me to perform. It was a merciful act that I had given them the chance to disperse (that is, in the morning). The responsibility was very great. I had to make up my mind that if I fired, I must fire well and strong so that it would have its full effect. And you did not open fire with the machine guns simply by the accident of the armored cars not being able to get in? I have answered you. I have said that if they had been there, the possibility is that I would have opened fire with them. You had no information that even a single individual of the mob had a firearm? No, they were going to do it with lathis. I know there were thousands of lathis in the railway station and they were going to be their arms. "I fired and continued to fire until the crowd dispersed," Dyer told the official Lord William Hunter Committee of Inquiry "and I consider this is the least amount of firing which would produce the necessary moral and widespread effect it was my duty to produce, if I was to justify my action." "It was no longer a question of merely dispersing the crowd," he added, "but one of producing a sufficient moral effect, from a military point of view, not only on those who were present but more specifically throughout the Punjab. There would be no question of undue severity." Dyer was relieved of active service as a consequence of the committee's findings, but the House of Lords later approved his actions, passing a resolution deploring "the conduct of the case of General Dyer as unjust to that officer." Colonial India rose to his support, collecting Pounds 263,174.10 for his retirement. The clergy of the Golden Temple, led by Arur Singh, honored the massacring general by declaring him a Sikh, on condition that he renounce one cigarette a year.

Sankalp Unit