London Mayor Calls for UK Apology Over Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

Evarado Alatorre
Diciembre 7, 2017

Amritsar: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday welcomed London Mayor Sadiq Khan's statement the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar.

"I'm clear that the Government should now apologise, especially as we reach the centenary of the massacre. Some people use the word 'massacre, '" Khan told the media after visiting the Jallianwala Bagh complex.

The Foreign Office invoked former British Prime Minister David Cameron's views on the issue after Khan asked for an apology.

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.

"The suggestion, coming from a British government functionary, was good and, if implemented, would go a long way in strengthening ties between India and United Kingdom, and perhaps, to some extent, assuaging the wounds of Indians who suffered the pain of the independence struggle", he said.

"It is one of the most horrific events in Indian history and it is shameful that successive British governments have fallen short of delivering a formal apology nearly 100 years on", he said.

Meanwhile, a veteran UK-Indian MP has revived his petition calling for an apology by Britian for the massacre after Khan's demand.

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Khan, who is from the Opposition Labour Party, does not speak for Britain's Conservative government.

At 10,000 signatures, the United Kingdom government would have to respond to the petition and at 100,000 it has to be considered for a House of Commons debate.

While the meeting was underway, British army colonel Reginald Dyer entered the garden with his troops and ordered them to fire into the crowd.

He described the massacre by troops under British command as "deeply shameful", but stopped short of an apology. "It is now time to apologise", the petition reads.

A hundred years is not late for an apology, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demonstrated in May 2016 when he formally expressed regret in the country's House of Commons for the Komagata Maru incident of 1914.

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.

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