Recalling March 13, 1940 when Shaheed Udham Singh avenged Jallianwala Bagh massacre
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Recalling March 13, 1940 when Shaheed Udham Singh avenged Jallianwala Bagh massacre

March 13, 1940 is always considered a big day in the Indian History as Sardar Udhan Singh assassinated Michael O’Dwyer and avenged the terrifying Jallianwala Bagh massacre single handedly.

Udham Singh was a well-known freedom fighter from Punjab and was best known for the assassinating Dwyer, the former Lieutenant Governor of Punjab in India.

Michael O’Dwyer, the retired British official who was killed on the spot had, 21 years earlier, endorsed and supported the most horrendous massacre of Indians at Jallianwala Bagh by the British after the First War of Independence.

Here’s the series of events that lead to Dwyer’s assassination on March 13, 1940

* Singh was an eyewitness of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Shaken with incident, he had one overpowering obsession: to kill O’Dwyer.

* He joined other Indian revolutionaries and visited many countries, the ultimate destination being London. He used several aliases, including Sher Singh, Udhan Singh and Ram Mohammed Singh Azad.

* In 1933 he managed to flee to Europe. After passing several countries he reached London in 1934. He stayed in a house in East London and joined a socialist organisation that worked for the cause of Indian workers.

* On 13 March 1940, a meeting of the Central Asian Society and East India Association was to be held at the Caxton Hall. One of the speakers was Michael O’Dwyer. Singh had found the right moment.

* Singh had carved the shape of his .45 Smith & Wesson revolver to fit it inside the book.

* Dressed like a perfect English gentleman, pulled out his revolver that was concealed under a book in a meeting hall in London, and fired six rounds into a group of people. Two shots hit a 75-year-old man in the back, one bullet passing his right lung and heart, the other piercing both kidneys

* Udham Singh did not run away after shooting two times at Dwyer, who died on the spot. Singh, instead, waited for the officials to arrest him.

* While awaiting his trial, Singh went on a 42-day hunger strike and had to be forcibly fed. Singh was hanged at Pentonville Prison in July 1940.

* Singh’s weapon, a knife, a diary and a bullet from shooting are kept in Black Museum, Scotland Yard.

* The remains of Udham Singh are preserved at Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar.

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