Page:Young India.pdf/133

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105
INDIA FROM 1757 TO 1857 A. D.

permanent memorials on the spots where they were perpetrated; their own, they have forgotten, and so have perhaps the descendants of those who were the objects thereof, though they are recorded in history.

    Again see History of the Siege of Delhi quoted by Savarkar in his "War of Indian Independence," p. 111, by an officer who served there, how, on the way from Umbala to Delhi, thousands were placed before a court martial in rows after rows and condemned to be hanged or shot. In some places cow's flesh was forced by spears and bayonets into the mouths of the condemned. (All Hindus abhor cow's flesh and would rather die than eat it.)

    See Charles Ball's Indian Mutiny, vol. I, p. 257. "One trip I enjoyed amazingly; we got on board a steamer with a gun, while the Sikhs and the fusiliers marched up to the city. We steamed up throwing shots right and left till we got up to the bad places, when we went on the shore and peppered away with our guns, my old double-barrel bringing down several niggers. So thirsty for vengeance I was. We fired the places right and left and the flames shot up to the heavens as they spread, fanned by the breeze, showing that the day of vengeance had fallen on the treacherous villains. Every day we had expeditions to burn and destroy disaffected villages and we had taken our revenge. I have been appointed the chief of a commission for the trial of all natives charged with offences against the Government and persons. Day by day, we have strung up eight or ten men. We have the power of life in our hands and, I assure you, we spare not. A very summary trial is all that takes place. The condemned culprit is placed under a tree, with a rope around his neck, on the top of a carriage, and when it is pulled off he swings."

    "In the Punjab, near Ajnala, in a small island, many a Sepoy who had simply fled away from a regiment which was working under the reasonable fear of being disarmed and shot by the Government for suspicion, was hiding himself. Cooper with a loyal body of troops took them prisoner. The entire number, amounting to two hundred and eighty-two, were then conveyed by Cooper to Ajnala. Then came the question what was to be done with them. There was no means of transporting them to a place where they could be tried formally. On the other hand, if they were summarily executed, other regiments and intending rebels might take warning by their fate, and thus, further bloodshed might be prevented. For these reasons, Cooper, fully conscious as he was of the enormous responsibility which he was undertaking, resolved to put