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Both images, above and below, were taken in London shortly before the incident. Above: Udham Singh is seen doing langar seva at a London gurdwara.


A Page From History:
March 14, 1940 -
Ex-Governor Of Punjab Slain





Sir Michael O’Dwyer, while Lieutenant Governor of Punjab during the British occupation of Punjab and the Indian subcontinent, endorsed General Reginald Dyer's action regarding the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in Amritsar, Punjab, and declared it a "correct action."

379 unarmed civilians were killed by troops under the command of Brigadier General. Some estimates are greater, with more than 1500 casualties.

This was not the only atrocity committed under the direct orders of Sir Michael O’Dwyer. He had, as another example, also sent an aeroplane to bomb and strafe a public meeting by unarmed citizens in Gujranwala, Punjab. During the course of the operation, at least a dozen people, including children present, were killed.

Though relieved of his duties shortly thereafter, he was never held accountable for his crimes against humanity. Instead, shortly after the Amritsar Massacre -- to emphasize the British refusal to hold him accountable -- his wife was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

It took Udham Singh two decades to track down O‘Dwyer (then 75 years old) and deliver him justice, as described hereinunder in a news report dated March 14, 1940.


London, England

A mysterious assassin today [March 13, 1940] shot and killed Sir Michael O’Dwyer, former Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab, and wounded Lord Zetland, Secretary of State for India, Sir  Louis W. Dane and Lord Lamington at the conclusion of a meeting in Caxton Hall while 150 of Britain’s highest ranking civil servants looked on in horror. The outrage is believed to be an act of vengeance arising out of the Amritsar shooting of 1919.

The murderer, variously described as ‘‘a short, dark Afghan’’ and an Indian, crept up to the press table during the concluding address and fired six shots in rapid succession.

Brandishing his revolver, the man ran down the aisle toward the entrance shouting ‘‘Make way!’’ Two men, one of them in uniform, jumped on him and a third wrested the gun from his hand.

Sir Michael crumpled to the floor with a bullet in his chest. He died almost instantly. Lord Zetland was badly bruised in one side where a bullet passed through his coat. 

[New York Herald Tribune, European Edition, March 14, 1940]

Courtesy: The New York Times.
Republished on, March 16, 2015


Conversation about this article

1: Harnain Kaur (Nagpur, Maharashtra, India), March 16, 2015, 4:09 PM.

It is every Sikh's mission to ensure that justice is done to all, especially on behalf of those who are weak, oppressed or voiceless. More so, if the State, whose mandate it is to do the job, refuses to do so, or when it itself is the perpetrator of injustice and controls all avenues of justice and uses them as a strangle-hold over its victims. But first ... all peaceful avenues -- A-L-L -- must be resorted to and exhausted! This fundamental principle enshrined in the very heart of Sikhi, is the ultimate test of living a civilized and purposeful life in service of your fellow man.

2: Oona Hendricks (London, United Kingdom), March 16, 2015, 5:15 PM.

The European powers would have to vie with each other for the top prize in being the most brutal and oppressive in human history. Collectively, they could easily walk away with the prize. Individually, we, the Brits, have an enviable record in this regard. Nothing and nobody anywhere even comes close.

3: Sunny Grewal (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada), March 16, 2015, 10:02 PM.

Wazir Khan, General O'Dwyer, Chief Minister Beant Singh, Indira Gandhi ... is anyone else seeing a pattern here?

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March 14, 1940 -
Ex-Governor Of Punjab Slain"

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