By Major General Sir Charles W. Gwynn
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Probably some of the crowd had sticks, but they made no hostile movement. Firing, independent but controlled for direction from time to time, was continued for about ten minutes and in all 1650 rounds were fired, almost exhausting the supply carried by the men. The tragic feature of the whole affair lay in the fact that the crowd were unable to disperse rapidly when fire was opened. Panic added to the difficulties of escape which the nature of the enclosure created. ~onsequently the number of casualties was greatly mcreased and it is believed 380 is a fairly accurate estimate of the killed.
Probably as a result of the controversy and the claims put forward in support of General Dyer's action, a deep impression was made on the minds of many officers. It was, and perhaps still is, widely felt that an officer who takes strong action which he genuinely considers is necessitated by the circumstances cannot rely on the support of the Government, and that his career will be ruined. The composition of the Committee which investigated the circumstances, and the manner in wruch General Dyer was examined, did much to deepen trus unfortunate impression.
T the wholt incident was not investigated by an impartial trIbuna. IMPERIAL POLICING cn. ommittee contained members avowedly hostile, and m many respects the investigation degenerated into the trial of a prisoner unprotected by the safeguards of formal legal procedure. Many of the 9uestions put to him would hardly have been allowed I? a court of law. ; designed to mduce him to further incriminate himself. reply in the affirmative strengthened the hostIlity to him. Characteristically, General Dyer, alt~ough permitted and pressed to employ legal asslstan~e, refused to take this obviously desirable precautIon.