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