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United Kingdom must apologize for Jallianwala Bagh: London Mayor
07 December 2017, 08:24 | Opal Carroll
London Mayor calls for apology to people of Amritsar for Jallianwala Bagh
The UK has sidestepped London mayor Sadiq Khan's call for an official apology on the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, saying the government has "rightly condemned" the "deeply shameful act" in British history in the past.
"The British government should apologise for the Jallianwala Bagh shootings".
The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre is considered to be one of the most tragic events in Indian history.
The massacre took place on April 13, 1919, when British troops, commanded by Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, opened fire at a crowd of unarmed people, on the harvest festival of Baisakhi.
Though British monarch, Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Phillip, had visited the Jallianwala Bagh in October 1997, no apology for the massacre was offered. "Some people use the word 'massacre, '" Khan told the media after visiting the Jallianwala Bagh complex.
"It is wrong that successive British governments have fallen short of delivering a formal apology to the families of those who were killed", he said. "I'm clear that the (UK) government should now apologise, especially as we reach the centenary of the massacre".
"It was incredibly moving to visit Jallianwala Bagh. Although our two great countries now have a close relationship in business, culture, education and more, an apology from the British Government will go a long way in healing the wounds left by this terrible event". "We must never forget what happened here and we must ensure that the United Kingdom stands up for the right of peaceful protests". The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust was founded in 1920 to build the memorial at the site. "Our thoughts are with all those who died".
In October, Mayor Sadiq Khan, whose grandparents were born in India and parents migrated from Pakistan to United Kingdom, said he would visit India and Pakistan to promote the British capital as a destination of choice for trade and cultural ties.
He is on a six-day trip to India and Pakistan to strengthen cultural and economic ties between the countries and the English capital.
Labour MP Virendra Sharma launched a public petition on the parliamentary website earlier this year to call on the government to issue a formal apology, which has so far attracted 1,793 signatories.
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