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Jallianwala Bagh massacre ‘a shameful act’, says UK envoy in Amritsar

UK envoy to India Dominic Asquith expressed regret over Jallianwala Bagh and called it a shameful act of British Indian history.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2019 19:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Jallianwala Bagh,Amritsar,Punjab
British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith with his deputy Andrew Ayre at Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial on Saturday to pay tribute to the martyrs of 1919 massacre.(HT photo/Sameer Sehgal)

British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith on Saturday visited the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial in Amritsar and paid tribute to those killed in the indiscriminate firing by the colonial forces 100 years ago in this Amritsar ground.

“The events of Jallianwala Bagh 100 years ago today reflect a shameful act in British-Indian history. We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused. I am pleased today that the UK and India have and remain committed to developing further a thriving 21st century partnership,” Asquith noted in the visitors’ book at the memorial.

Watch: ‘Shameful act in British-Indian history’: UK envoy on Jallianwala Bagh massacre

This follows British Prime Minister Theresa May expressing “regret” over the incident amid growing demand for an apology for the massacre. But May stopped short of tendering an apology. She called it a ‘shameful scar’ on British Indian history instead.

On Wednesday, in a brief statement during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons, May said, “The tragedy of Jallianwala Bagh in 1919 is a shameful scar on British Indian history. As her majesty the Queen said before visiting Jallianwala Bagh in 1997, it is a distressing example of our past history with India.”

She continued saying, “We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused. I am pleased that today the UK-India relationship is one of collaboration, partnership, prosperity and security.”

Speaking to mediapersons at the memorial, Asquith, however, did not respond to a question over why the UK government has not tendered an apology for what they have termed a “shameful act” by the forces of the colonial government.

During his visit to the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial, Asquith was accompanied by his deputy Andrew Ayre.

First Published: Apr 13, 2019 09:56 IST