Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

After 100 years, still no apology for Amritsar massacre

After 100 years, still no apology for Amritsar massacre

The memory of those killed in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre serves as an inspiration to work for an India they would be proud of, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday on the centenary of the tragic event.

Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, in Amritsar on Saturday, on Twitter called the massacre "a day of infamy that stunned the entire world and changed the course of the Indian freedom struggle".

On April 13, 1999, around 15,000 to 20,000 people had gathered at Jallianwala Bagh in the northern part of Amritsar city on the occasion of Baishakhi.

"But even in the centenary year of the massacre, Britain has refused to ... take that important step", the Hindustan Times said in an editorial.

In the memorial's guest book Asquith, a descendant of Herbert Asquith, prime minister from 1908-16, called the events "shameful".

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday told parliament that Britain "deeply regretted what happened and the suffering caused".

Amarinder Singh, the chief minister of India's Punjab state where the massacre site is located, said on Friday that May's words were not enough.

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British High Commissioner Dominic Asquith on Saturday expressed deep regret and sorrow over the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, but remained non-committal on any apology coming from the British government on the brutal killings.

"The cost of freedom must never ever be forgotten". As her Majesty, the Queen said before visiting Jallianwala Bagh 1997, it is a distressing example of our past history with India.

He later defended his decision not to say sorry, explaining that the massacre happened 40 years before he was born and saying: "I don't think the right thing is to reach back into history and to seek out things you can apologise for". She wrote, "Pb CM @capt_amarinder took @RahulGandhi to Sri Akal Takht Sahib but lacked courage to ask him admit the @INCIndia's sin of demolishing Sikhs' highest religio-temporal seat with tanks & mortars".

Brigadier General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer was tasked with ensuring order, and imposed measures including a ban on public gatherings. Many tried to escape by scaling the walls but failed.

It was later stated that 1,650 bullets had been fired (derived by counting empty cartridge cases picked up by the troops).

"I, with eight or nine others, had to search for about half an hour till I could pick up his corpse as it was mixed up with hundreds of dead bodies lying in heaps there", Ram said.

Dyer said the firing had been ordered "to punish the Indians for disobedience". May's statement was "perhaps qualitatively a notch stronger ... but is far from enough".

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