On 14 October 1919, after orders issued by the Secretary of State for India, Edwin Montagu, the Government of India announced the formation of a committee of inquiry into the events in Punjab.

Referred to as the Disorders Inquiry Committee, it was later more widely known as the Hunter Commission.

It was named after the name of chairman, Lord William Hunter.

Lord William Hunter was assisted by five Englishmen and four Indians.

The stated purpose of the commission was to “investigate the recent disturbances in Bombay, Delhi, and Punjab, about their causes, and the measures taken to cope with them“.

The report of the Hunter Commission concluded that the Indian gathering was not the result of a pre-arranged conspiracy.

It asserted that the rioting in Amritsar had turned into rebellion.

The declaration of martial law was viewed as justifiable and that its application was, in the main, not oppressive.

The report concluded that General Dyer was justified in firing on the mob, though notice should have been given and its duration shortened.

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