In 1919, the Rowlatt Act was passed hurriedly through the Imperial Legislative Council, despite the united opposition of the Indian members.
This Act gave the British Government enormous powers to repress political activities. According to this law, political prisoners could be detained in prison without trial for two years.
Mahatma Gandhi wanted non-violent civil disobedience against such unjust law. Rallies were organised in various cities, workers went on strike in railway workshops, and shops closed down. British administration decided to suppress the nationalists. Local leaders were picked up from Amritsar, and Mahatma Gandhi was barred from entering Delhi.