Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bearing A Grudge

Via Stephen Stratford's excellent Crime History site, the story of Udham Singh, whose brother had been killed in 1919 by General Dyer's troops at Amritsar. Sir Michael O'Dwyer was governor of the Punjab at the time and supported Dyer.

Twenty one years later ...

As the meeting was breaking up Udham Singh fired all 6 rounds of a .45 Smith & Wesson revolver into a group of people on the platform of whom O'Dwyer was a part. O'Dwyer was was hit twice in the back, and killed instantly. One bullet passing through his heart and right lung. Another bullet passed through both kidneys.

Lord Zetland, Secretary of State for India, was hit twice although he was only slightly injured, as were Lord Lamington and Sir Louis Dane. The numbers of people killed were not as large as could have been expected, as Udham Singh used 30 year old, poor fitting .44 bullets.

Udham Singh was overpowered before he left the room. His hatred had not been diminished by killing O'Dwyer:

"I did it because I had a grudge against him, he deserved it. I don't belong to any society or anything else. I don't care, I don't mind dying. What is the use of waiting until you get old? That is no good ... Is Zetland dead? He ought to be, I put two in him. I bought the revolver from a soldier in a public house. My parents died when I was 3 or 4 ... Only the one dead, eh? I thought I could get more."

Singh was hanged in 1940.