Demands for apology continue 100 years after Amritsar massacre

Demands for apology continue 100 years after Amritsar massacre

Amritsar: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday laid a wreath at the Jallianwala Bagh memorial on the completion of 100 years of the massacre. Their valour and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

On Baisakhi festival on April 13, 1919, Brigadier General Reginald Dyer had opened fire on unarmed people at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar.

Offering tributes to the fallen, Naidu's message in the visitor's book at the memorial read, "I feel extremely humbled as I pay my homage to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives fighting the evil hegemony of the oppressive British rule".

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi arrived at Jallianwala Bagh on Saturday with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and state minister Navjot Singh Sidhu to pay homage.

"There are events in the histories of nations which are hard to forget and they hold a very emotionally charged space in a nation's memory", Navtej Sarna, a Sikh who has served as India's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, told Reuters. "We salute the people of India who gave everything they had for it".

The massacre took place in the walled enclosure of Jallianwala Bagh, which is still pocked with bullet marks.

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"On the 13th April, 1919 he went there as usual and met his tragic end, having been shot in the head which fractured his skull, he bled and died instantaneously", he told the newspaper. On Friday evening hundreds of people, including students and visitors, held a candlelight vigil in Amritsar on the eve of the 100th anniversary. 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". British Prime Minister Theresa May in parliament this week described the events as "a shameful scar on British Indian history".

Actress-turned-politician Kirron Kher said: "Remembering the innocent souls who were martyred, mercilessly, for taking a stand for our country's independence this day, 100 years ago".

"We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused", May said, but she, too, avoided saying she was sorry.

Terming the Jallianwala Bagh as a tragedy that created a new consciousness in an India grappling with pulling the British down, Khattar lamented that, in the present times, nationalism seemed in short supply.

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.

Known in India as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, it is still an emotive subject with many demanding a British apology - which so far has been unforthcoming.

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