On March 7, the Gujarat government marked 100 years of the Pal-Dadhvav killings, calling it a massacre “bigger than the Jallianwala Bagh”. Before this, the incident had been featured on the state’s Republic Day tableau.
- The Pal-Dadhvav massacre took place on March 7, 1922, in the Pal-Chitariya and Dadhvaav villages of Sabarkantha district, then part of Idar state.
- The day was Amalki Ekadashi, which falls just before Holi, a major festival for tribals. Villagers from Pal, Dadhvav, and Chitariya had gathered on the banks of river Heir as part of the ‘Eki movement’, led by one Motilal Tejawat.
- The movement was to protest against the land revenue tax (lagaan) imposed on the peasants by the British and feudal lords.
- The Mewad Bhil Corps (MBC), a paramilitary force raised by the British open-fired on the gathering.
- While the British claimed some 22 people were killed, the Bhils believe 1,200-1,500 of them died.