London mayor Sadiq Khan says United Kingdom must apologise for India massacre

London mayor on Jallianwala Bagh Jallianwala Bagh london mayor in india

"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", the Mayor said.

This is not the first time a British politician has called on the government to apologise for the killing of hundreds when troops from the British Indian Army led by Brig Reginald Dyer opened fire on unarmed protesters on April 13, 1919. "The tragedy in 1919 on the eve of Vaisakhi is one we must never forget", Mr Khan wrote in the visitors' book at the Jallianwala Bagh here.

Several British politicians, including former Prime Minister David Cameron, had expressed regret over the massacre, but stopped short of apologising.

"I'm clear that the Government should now apologise, especially as we reach the centenary of the massacre". "I want to make it clear that a memorial should take pride of place in London to honour those who served and died in the wars. The British Government rightly condemned the events at the time".

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

Though British monarch Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Phillip visited Jallianwala Bagh in October 1997, they did not offer an apology for the massacre. In two years, it will be 100 years since the massacre.

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At least 379 Sikhs were killed, but the figure is still disputed.

Khan, later on Wednesday, visited the Golden Temple complex, where the holiest of Sikh shrines, Harmandir Sahib, is located and offered prayers.

He also paid tributes to the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre before crossing over to Lahore. It is wrong that successive British governments have fallen short of delivering a formal apology to the families of those who were killed.

"During my visit to this incredible 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.

He is on a six-day trip to India and Pakistan to strengthen cultural and economic ties between the countries and the English capital. "We must never forget what happened here and we must ensure that the United Kingdom stands up for the right of peaceful protests".

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