Jallianwala Bagh massacre centenary: PM Modi pays tributes

Blanche Robertson
April 13, 2019

Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, in Amritsar on Saturday, on Twitter called the massacre "a day of infamy that stunned the entire world and changed the course of the Indian freedom struggle".

The massacre occurred 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.

A hundred years later, Britain has still made no official apology and high commissioner Dominic Asquith followed suit at the Jallianwala Bagh walled garden, where bullet marks from the event are still visible. Many are demanding apology from Britain for the gruesome mass murder that took place a century ago.

The News Services Division of All India Radio will bring you a special bilingual programme today on "100 years of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre".

In 1997, Queen Elizabeth II laid a wreath at the site but her gaffe-prone husband Prince Philip stole the headlines by reportedly saying that Indian estimates for the death count were "vastly exaggerated".

"Those who lost their lives in the massacre deserve a "full, clear and unequivocal apology for what took place". We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused.

As India commemorates the 100th anniversary of the massacre of hundreds of innocent Indians by British forces at the Jallianwala Bagh, members of the film industry, including Amitabh Bachchan, Sunny Deol, Bhumi Pednekar and Madhur Bhandarkar, paid tributes to the martyrs. "We will never forget what happened here".

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"Their memory inspires us to work even harder to build an India they would be proud of".

Congress President Rahul Gandhi paid homage to the martyrs at the memorial this morning.

The fund, according to author Kim Wagner, saw people from all over the British empire and from all walks of life contributing to support Dyer, including "Rudyard Kipling, who gave 10 pounds".

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. Their valour and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

But the British Government has never offered a formal apology for this most heinous of acts. I want to thank the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Centenary Committee and the Shaheed Udham Singh Welfare Trust (Birmingham) for initiating and leading the debate in the United Kingdom.

Actress Preity G Zinta shared: "My heartfelt tribute to the fearless hearts and martyrs who lost their lives in the horrific Jallianwala Bagh massacre a century ago". I want children across the United Kingdom to benefit from learning about the Jallianwala Bagh massacre to know what their country did in the name of empire.

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