Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden in Amritsar in the Punjab state of India, and houses a memorial of national importance, established in 1951 by the Government of India, to commemorate the massacre of peaceful celebrators including unarmed women and children by British occupying forces, on the occasion of the Punjabi New Year on April 13, 1919 in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. Colonial British Raj sources identified 379 fatalities and estimated about 1100 wounded. Civil Surgeon Dr. Smith indicated that there were 1,526 casualties. The true figures of fatalities are unknown, but are very likely to be many times higher than the official figure of 379.
On April 13, Brigadier General R.E.H. Dyer arrived from Jalandhar Cantonment, and virtually occupied the town as civil administration under Miles Irving, the Deputy Commissioner, had come to standstill. On Sunday, 13 April 1919, Dyer was convinced of a major insurrection and he banned all meetings; however, this notice was not widely disseminated. That was the day of Baisakhi, the main Sikh festival, and many villagers had gathered in the Bagh. On hearing that a meeting had assembled at Jallianwala Bagh, Dyer went with ninety Sikh, Gurkha, Baluchi, Rajput troops from 2-9th Gurkhas, the 54th Sikhs and the 59th Sind Rifles to a raised bank and ordered them to shoot at the crowd.
Dyer continued the firing for about ten minutes, until the ammunition supply was almost exhausted; Dyer stated that 1,650 rounds had been fired, a number which seems to have been derived by counting empty cartridge cases picked up by the troops. Official British Indian sources gave a figure of 379 identified dead, with approximately 1,200 wounded. The casualty number estimated by the Indian National Congress was more than 1,500, with approximately 1,000 dead.
The place derives its name from that of the owners of this piece of land in Sikh times. It was then the property of the family of Sardar Himmat Singh (Sikhism) (d.1829), a noble in the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), who originally came from the village of Jalla, now in Fatehgarh Sahib district of the Punjab. The family were collectively known as Jallhevale or simply Jallhe or Jalle, although their principal seat later became Alavarpur in Jalandhar district. The site, once a garden or garden house, was in 1919 an uneven and unoccupied space, an irregular quadrangle, indifferently walled, approximately 225 x 180 meters which was used more as a dumping ground than anything else.