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

Mahatma Gandhi

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"Toilet: Ek Prem Katha" star Bhumi urged people to "always remember the courage and sacrifice of our freedom fighters" and to get inspired by their "valour and contribution into making our country stronger".

British Prime Minister Theresa May told her country's Parliament on Wednesday, "the tragedy of Jallianwala Bagh in 1919 is a shameful scar on British Indian history", but stopped short of issuing a formal apology. While General Dyer said 379 people were killed, the Indian National Congress had pegged the toll at over 1,000. On 100 years of Jallianwala Bagh massacre, tributes and political reactions have been pouring in from around the world.

The Times of India reported, the British High Commissioner Sir Dominic Eskith paid tribute to the martyrs after reaching the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial on Saturday.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh demanded "an unequivocal official apology from Britain" for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday paid tribute and said that the "stain on civilisation" would "never be forgotten" by India. 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". "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". The most important thing we can do now is to work to ensure such actions are remembered, respected and not allowed to happen again. At the end of the march, people observed two minutes of silence.

Around 10,000 unarmed men, women and children had gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh walled public garden in Amritsar on April 13, 1919.

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Brig Gen Reginald Edward Harry Dyer arrived with dozens of troops, sealed off the exit and without warning ordered the soldiers to open fire.

Many tried to escape by scaling the high walls surrounding the area.

It was later stated that 1,650 bullets had been fired (derived by counting empty cartridge cases picked up by the troops). "A number of them were poor innocent children", one witness later recalled. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Dyer, dubbed "the butcher of Amritsar", reportedly said later it was a necessary measure, and that the firing was "not to disperse the meeting but to punish the Indians for disobedience".

Indian newspapers this week repeated their calls for an apology for a massacre that Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for war, called "monstrous".

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