Britain Must Apologize for Jallianwala Bagh Killings, Says London Mayor Sadiq Khan


Khan, on his maiden visit to Amritsar, paid tributes to those who died at the sprawling ground in the city."The British government should apologize for the Jallianwala Bagh shootings".

Mr Khan, who was on a three-city tour to India, visited New Delhi, Mumbai and Amritsar to strengthen the UK's capital trade ties with India.

During a visit to the Jallianwala Bagh memorial and garden, the Mayor paid his respects to those who were killed there in 1919, and made it clear that, nearly 100 years on from the awful event, the British Government should formally apologise on behalf of the British politicians of the time. Hundreds of Indians, including women, children and the aged, were shot dead by British troops led by Brigadier General Reginald Dyer on April 13, 1919.

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The British Government has never extended a formal apology for the massacre, which killed hundreds of people and injured many more.

He also took to social networking site Twitter and posted, "I'm calling on the British Government to make a full and formal apology to the people of Amritsar and India for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre".

Mr Khan made the statement on Tuesday on a visit to Jallianwala Bagh, the site of the massacre, in the north Indian state of Punjab.

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"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".

Almost 100 years later, it remains a controversial subject as many British dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Phillip, and former prime minister David Cameron, have visited Jallianwala Bagh to pay their respects. "Our thoughts are with all those who died", he wrote. He described it as "an extraordinary event, a monstrous event, an event which stands in singular and sinister isolation" and which was "not the British way of doing business".

Mr Khan then visited the Golden Temple complex, where the holiest of Sikh shrines, Harmandir Sahib, is located and offered prayers. This was also for the first time when a British high ranking official reached Pakistan by road.

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