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'Shameful act in British-Indian history': United Kingdom envoy on Jallianwala Bagh massacre

'Shameful act in British-Indian history': United Kingdom envoy on Jallianwala Bagh massacre

Later today, the Vice President will pay homage to the martyrs at the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial at Amritsar in Punjab.

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place in Amritsar during the Baisakhi festival on April 13, 1919 when the British Indian Army under the command of General Reginald Dyer opened fire at unarmed civilians staging a pro-independence demonstration, leaving hundreds dead. On this day, here we take a look at how the tragedy unfolded on this day, exactly 100 years ago.

British High Commissioner to India Sir Dominic Asquith laid a wreath at the Jallianwala Bagh memorial here on Saturday on the centenary of the massacre and said Britain "deeply regretted" the suffering caused to the victims.

"We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused", he wrote, echoing comments by the prime minister Theresa May in parliament on Wednesday when she too stopped short of apologising.

On Wednesday, May reiterated the United Kingdom government's long-standing expression of "deep regret" over the April 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, calling it a "shameful scar" on British Indian history. His courage and sacrifice can never be forgotten. "As Her Majesty the Queen (Elizabeth II) said before visiting Jallianwala Bagh in 1997, it is a distressing example of our past history with India".

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"Remembering the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre on the centenary of the most gruesome incident in Indian history".

The fund, according to author Kim Wagner, saw people from all over the British empire and from all walks of life contributing to support Dyer, including "Rudyard Kipling, who gave 10 pounds".

"Tribute to martyrs", Sunny wrote along with a photograph of the Jallianwala Bagh.

But the British Government has never offered a formal apology for this most heinous of acts. During this, in his note written in the Visitor's Diary, the incident of Jallianwala Bagh was termed as the most "shameful event in British India history".

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh demanded "an unequivocal official apology from Britain" for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. I am pleased that my children and grandchildren have grown up knowing about the role Britain played in the abolition of the slave trade and the setting up of the United Nations and writing the European Convention on Human Rights, but they also need to know the shameful parts of our history and what the British Empire meant to millions of subjects colonised around the world. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.


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