Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday recalled his grandfather’s narrow escape from Jallianwala Bagh when firing was opened at the protesters in one of the most poignant incidents in the history of India.
Puri, who visited the place, remembered how his grandfather and several others had a narrow escape by jumping over the wall at the outer periphery of the Bagh.
Troops of the British Indian Army, under the command of General Dyer, fired upon an unarmed crowd of hundreds of men, women and children attending a protest rally at Jallianwala Bagh (Amritsar) on April 13, 1919. The British inquiry recorded 379 killed and 1,200 wounded, while other estimates put the number of killings at 1,000.
“My grandfather was present at Jallianwala Bagh when General opened fire at innocent Indians who had gathered here. “He and several others escaped by jumping over the wall at the outer periphery. “As a student of history, I salute all those who gave their lives for the attainment of India’s freedom,” Puri wrote in the visitor’s book at the place.
Puri, 65, visited the Harminder Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple, to pay obeisance after taking over the charge of Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry earlier this month.
“The sanctum sanctorum of the Sikh faith provides inspiration not only to the members of my faith but for all humanity,” he wrote in the visitor’s book at the place. He also visited ‘Durgiana Temple’, known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple, and ‘Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal’ in Amritsar.
Puri will also review the implementation of various schemes of his ministry. Puri, a retired Indian Forest Service diplomat, took over as Minister of State (independent charge), Housing and Urban Affairs earlier this month.