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Years Ago Today: Thousands killed in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre

One of the worst political crimes of the twentieth century was committed in Punjab in 1919



The Jallianwala Bagh massacre or the 'Amritsar massacre' was one of the worst political crimes of the 20th century ordered by General R.E.H.Dyer.

Popular resentment had been accumulating in Punjab since the beginning of the first World War due to the ruthless drive by the British in recruiting soldiers.

On the day of 'Baisakhi' General Dyer ordered his troops to fire at the gathering without warning which left around 1000 people dead.

One of the worst political crimes of the twentieth century were committed in Punjab in 1919. Popular resentment had been accumulating in Punjab since the beginning of the War (World War I), mainly due to the ruthless drive – by the British — for recruiting soldiers and forced contribution to the war fund. On April 13 – the day of Baisakhi festival – a meeting was called in the afternoon at the Jallianwala Bagh, a ground enclosed on all sides. Thousands of people, many of whom had come from surrounding villages to the fairs in Amritsar and were unaware of the ban order, gathered for the meeting. Suddenly General Dyer appeared with troops and without any warning to the people, ordered firing on the completely peaceful and defenseless crowd. The fusillade continued till Dyer’s ammunition ran out. At least about a thousand people, if not more, are estimated to have been killed. This cold-blooded carnage, Dyer admitted later, was perpetrated "to strike terror not only in the city of Amritsar but throughout Punjab.

1973 - Balraj Sahni passed away

Born in a Punjabi family, he was an actor, writer, and artiste, who studied English and Hindi literature in University and also worked as a school teacher at Shantiniketan and in BBC radio's Hindi service in Britain

In 1953, Sahni's movie Do Bigha Zameen won a prize at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France after this his acting skills were recognised widely.

He passed away due to a heart attack after shooting for his last film " Garam Hawa" .

Balraj Sahni, a veteran actor was born as Yudhisthir Sahni on 1 May 1913 in a Punjabi family. He studied English and Hindi literature in the University and also worked as a school teacher at Shantiniketan and in BBC radio's Hindi service in Britain. His debut film was Insaaf which was followed by films like, Hulchul, Zubeida, The Inspector General and many more. In 1953, Sahni's movie Do Bigha Zameen won a prize at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France after this his acting skills were recognised widely. He passed away due to heart attack, after shooting for his last film Garam Hawa.

1960: France becomes 4th nuclear nation exploding an A-Bomb in Sahara

.France is one of the five "Nuclear Weapons States" under the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT).

France was the fourth country to test an independently developed nuclear weapon in 1960, under the government of Charles de Gaulle.

The French military is currently thought to retain a weapons stockpile of around 300 operational nuclear warheads, making it the third-largest in the world, speaking in terms of warheads, not megatons

France was one of the nuclear pioneers, going back to the work of Marie Skłodowska Curie. Curie’s last assistant Bertrand Goldschmidt became the father of the French Bomb. During the Second World War Goldschmidt invented the now-standard method for extracting plutonium while working as part of the British/Canadian team participating in the Manhattan Project. There were 210 French nuclear tests from 1960 through 1995. Seventeen of them were done in the Algerian Sahara between 1960 and 1966, starting in the middle of the Algerian War. One-hundred ninety-three were carried out in French Polynesia. In 2006, Bruno Barillot, a specialist in nuclear tests, measured on the site 93 microsieverts by the hour of gamma-ray, equivalent to 1% of the official admissible yearly dose. This incident was documented in the 2006 docudrama "Vive La Bombe!”.