The Voyage of the Komagata Maru: The Sikh Challenge to Canada's Colour Bar. Page 102, note 17

17 Who fired the first shot? Gurdit Singh says the passengers were unarmed, but there is too much evidence to the contrary. Yet one cannot rely on the findings of the official inquiry which blamed the passengers. Among those involved in the riot, there were probably few who saw how it started and fewer who saw and testified truthfully. Sohan Singh Josh, in his book, Tragedy of Komagata Maru (New Delhi: People's Publishing House, 1975), pp. 77, 108, quotes Harnam Singh Gujarwal, one of Gurdit Singh's inner circle, who said that Eastwood fired twice after his lathi was grabbed from him. He hit Thakur Singh and sent a bullet through Harnam Singh's headgear. 'Munsha Singh snatched a pistol from him and killed him then and there.' However, Bishen Singh of Chuharchak village, Ferozepore, who sailed on the Komagata Maru at the age of fifteen or sixteen, and who was wounded in the right arm during the riot, told Sohan Singh that Bhan Singh of Mundapind, Amritsar, fired the first shot, killing Eastwood. There was no Bhan Singh of Mundapind listed among the passengers at Budge Budge, but confusion in names after sixty years is excusable. There was a Keshu Singh, alias Sher Singh, alias Buttan Singh of Mundapind.

Title: The Voyage of the Komagata Maru: The Sikh Challenge to Canada's Colour Bar. Page 102, note 17

Subject: Bird, J. Edward; Boards of Inquiry; Budge Budge riot, 1914; Conditions on the ship; Confrontations with passengers; Dayal, Har, 1884-1939; Ghadar Party; Hopkinson, William Charles, 1880-1914; Immigration regulations, Canada; Johnson, Charles Gardner, 1857-1926; S. S. Komagata Maru; Kumar, Guran Ditt; Murder of W. C. Hopkinson; S. S. Panama Maru; Rahim, Husain; H. M. C. S. Rainbow; Reid, Malcolm R. J.; Singh, Gurdit, 1858-1954; Stevens, H. H. (Henry Herbert), 1878-1973

Creator: Johnston, Hugh

Publisher: UBC Press

Date: 1995

Display date: Vancouver : UBC Press, 1995, c1989

Type: Text

Format: Image/jpeg

Identifier: note-102-17

Language: eng

Rights: These images are provided for research and reference use only. Written permission to copy, publish, or otherwise use these images must be obtained from UBC Press, www.ubcpress.com.

Level1: Books and theses