From the Archives (October 23, 1920): Wilful murder (From an editorial)

October 23, 2020 12:15 am | Updated 12:15 am IST

We published yesterday the full text of counsel’s opinion on the Punjab criminals. It is a document that will repay careful study as it does from some of the ablest of British jurists. The local champion of the Dyer-hards went into mild hysterics over it and pretended to see in it nothing but the latest development in the “hounding” of that much-maligned hero, General Dyer. It also attempted to discount the value attaching to the opinions of so eminent a lawyer as Mr. Upjohn by assuming that the conclusions were based upon one-sided and perverted promises. A study of the full text will show that counsel have not gone a hair’s breadth beyond the facts conclusively established. Their opinion is founded firstly upon the admissions of General Dyer as to the actual happenings and as to his motives and second upon the report of the Hunter Committee which cannot, even in the jaundiced eyes of the most confirmed exponent of government by massacre, be held to be unduly prejudiced against General Dyer. We need not here repeat the cogent arguments advanced by counsel for coming to conclusions which the majority of Indians will consider surprisingly moderate.

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