Manmeet Singh Gill
Amritsar, April 19
Until the ‘Butcher of Amritsar’ General Dyer promulgated his infamous ‘crawling order’ on April 19, 1919, ‘Korian Wali Gali’ or ‘Khoo Korian’ was known as ‘Dugglan Wali Gali’ after a large population of this community in the nearly 200-m long street near Jallianwala Bagh.
Promulgated on April 19, 1919, the ‘crawling order’ had remained in effect until it was revoked a week later. It required all those who passed through the lane to do so ‘on all fours’.
A flogging post was set up in the middle of the lane, on which soldiers punished anyone, who disobeyed, with lashes (korian). Around 103 years later, the new nomenclature has acquired prominence, but there is nothing in the street (in pic) which reminds residents and tourists of the flogging post on which people received lashes for defying the devil’s order.
Even the ‘khoo’ has been converted into a ‘Shivala’. Except for a couple of abandoned buildings near the well, modern architecture has taken over the old. Residents say most of the original inhabitants, whose ancestors were a witness to the brutality, have also moved out.
Kewal, an area resident, said: “Moving around the street, it does not feel that it is the same street, where people had to feel such humiliation and brutality. There must be some memorial to remind people of the time.”
A peep into history
On April 10, 1919, when a crowd demanding release of two popular freedom movement leaders was moving towards the DC office, they were fired upon by a military picket. During the course of the day, the public was fired upon on different occasions. In the violence that followed, several buildings were burnt and four Europeans were killed. A European missionary, Marcella Sherwood, was beaten up by residents of the street, when she was cycling through the area. After visiting Sherwood on April 19, General Dyer, enraged at the assault, issued an order requiring every Indian man using that street to crawl its length on his hands and knees as a punishment.
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