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London Mayor calls for apology to people of Amritsar for Jallianwala Bagh

London Mayor calls for apology to people of Amritsar for Jallianwala Bagh

The memorial was inaugurated in 1961 and serves as a way to remember those who died and were injured in the massacre.

The British Foreign Office said in a statement: "As the former Prime Minister said when he visited the Jallianwala Bagh in 2013, the massacre was a deeply shameful act in British history and one that we should never forget".

"During my visit to this wonderful country and the Jallianwala Bagh memorial and gardens, I've heard how the scars of the massacre are still felt in Amritsar".

"It was incredibly moving to visit Jallianwala Bagh".

"The British government should apologize for the Jallianwala Bagh shootings". The tragedy in 1919 on Baisakhi is one we must never forget. "The British Government rightly condemned the events at the time".

This is not the first time a British politician has called on the government to apologise for the killing of hundreds when troops from the British Indian Army led by Brig Reginald Dyer opened fire on unarmed protesters on April 13, 1919.

At the Jallianwala Bagh memorial and garden, the Mayor met with ancestors of those who escaped the massacre and laid a wreath at the foot of the memorial to pay his respects. Colonial-era records put the death toll at around 400, while leaders of the country's freedom movement said over 1,000 were killed.

Mr Khan, who is on a diplomatic visit to India and Pakistan, also tweeted from his official account saying the British government must apologise.

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Over the years, several MPs and politicians of Indian and South Asian-origin have asked the United Kingdom government to offer an apology to the Indian people but members of the royal family and British premiers have never gone that far during their visits to India.

Khan, who was on a three-city tour of India, visiting Mumbai, New Delhi and Amritsar, later crossed over to Pakistan from the Attari-Wagah land border, about 30 km from here.

Khan went around the complex near the Golden Temple in Amritsar that houses the Shaheedi Khuh or "martyrs' well", into which protesters fleeing bullets had jumped.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh was also in Amritsar on Wednesday to meet Khan.

During his visit, he participated in langar at the Golden Temple complex and showed keen interest in knowing how the food is prepared.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee gave Khan a "siropa" (robe of honour) during the visit.

The London mayor, of Pakistani-origin, will visit Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in Pakistan.


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