Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Jallianwala Bagh massacre: Rahul visits memorial, salutes people of India

Jallianwala Bagh massacre: Rahul visits memorial, salutes people of India

Britain's high commissioner to India laid a wreath on Saturday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Amritsar massacre, one of the worst atrocities of Britain's colonial rule.

The massacre took place on 13 April 1919 when troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer fired machine guns into a crowd of unarmed protesters and pilgrims who had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab's Amritsar on the occasion of Baisakhi. Their valour and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

As reported by Janta Ka Reporter, India marked the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The massacre is known as one of the darkest chapters of India's freedom struggle against the British occupation. "Their memory inspires us to work even harder to build an India they would be proud of", Modi said.

It was later stated that 1,650 bullets had been fired (derived by counting empty cartridge cases picked up by the troops). They observed a two-minute silence at the site, PTI reported.

On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons that the massacre was "a shameful scar on British Indian history".

The massacre became a symbol of colonial cruelty, and for decades Indians have demanded an apology from Britain, including during Queen Elizabeth's visit to Amritsar in 1997.

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.

The Indian Express this past week shared eyewitness accounts compiled by two historians.

"My own great grandfather, who was the prime minister for nearly a decade, had referred to this as one of the worst outrages in our whole history", he said.

"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, dubbed "The Butcher of Amritsar", said later the firing was "not to disperse the meeting but to punish the Indians for disobedience". The real tribute to Ambedkar, whose birthday falls today, will be the defeat of dynasty politics, he added. However, she stopped short of issuing a formal apology for the tragic incident.

He spoke at a memorial marking the centenary of the attack at Jallianwala Bagh by British colonial troops against unarmed Indians attending a peaceful rally calling for independence.

"But I would repeat what I said earlier that both governments are committed to building a very strong relationship...we have an extraordinarily flourishing relationship today".

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