Sikhs demand formal apology from UK government for Jallianwala Bagh massacre
The city’s Sikh community has decided to write to the British Parliament, demanding a formal apology from the United Kingdom for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, in which 379 people were killed in Amritsar by British Indian soldiers.
On Friday, Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Mumbai (Dadar Gurudwara), the apex body of gurudwaras in the city, said British Prime Minister Theresa May’s condemnation of the killings as “a shameful scar on Britain’s colonial history” was not enough.
“The British government has admitted to the massacre, but they haven’t apologised. A formal apology is required for the wounds of the community to heal. We will also have mass prayers for the departed,” said Manmohan Singh, general secretary, Dadar Gurudwara.
As part of their Sunday Baisakhi celebrations — the occasion on which the shootings happened 100 years ago — the gurudwara will pass a resolution for an apology and mail it to the British Parliament, marking the President of India and the British Consulate in Mumbai.
The Maharashtra Sikh Association (MSA), a nodal body for the community in the state, will have an advisor representing them for a debate on this topic at the House of Lords on Saturday, wherein they will put forth their demand for an apology.
“The entire Sikh and Punjabi community feel pain when they celebrate Baisakhi — it is a joyous occasion but also brings back memories of Jallianwala Bagh,” said Bal Malkit Singh, convenor of MSA.