London, Apr 10 : On the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday ingeminated the UK government’s perennial expression of ‘deep regret’ and described the massacre as a 'shameful scar' on the British Indian history.
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”. We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused. I am pleased that today the UK-India relationship is one of collaboration partnership, security, and prosperity.
"Indian diaspora make an enormous contribution to British society and I am sure the whole house wants to see the UK's relationship with India continue to flourish, Mirror online reported, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn told the House of Commons that on the 100 year anniversary of the tragic event that the government should issue a "clear and unequivocal apology for what took place".
The Sikh Federation on Facebook said it was "very disappointing" that the Prime Minister Theresa May didn't apologise on behlaf of the British government. It added "Despite the 100 years since this shocking colonial atrocity and the worldwide calls for a full apology from the UK government, the PM falls short in taking appropriate responsibility for the British Indian Armies crimes of slaughtering unarmed innocent people inc women and children."
On February 2013, Former British Prime Minister David Cameron has also called the Jallianwala Bagh massacre a "deeply shameful" incident during his visit to India. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place on April 13, 1919 when troops of the British Indian Army fired their rifles into a crowd of Indians gathered in Jallianwala Bagh. Under the instruction of Colonel Reginald Dyer, the British army were convinced a major insurrection was mounting, and meetings were banned on that day.
Many of those gathered were not aware of Colonel Dyer's instructions, but that did not stop troops from opening fire on those gathered in the Jallianwalla Bagh, as the exits were blocked off to stop people from escaping. The death toll figure is highly disputed, with estimates between 379 to 1,600. At least 1,000 others were injured.