AMRITSAR – Moved by the tragedy that took place 98 years ago, the mayor of London Sadiq Khan said on December 6 that the British government should apologize for the massacre of Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, which left hundreds dead.
Khan, on his maid visit to Amritsar, paid tribute to those who died in the extensive grounds of the city.
"The British government must apologize for the shootings of Jallianwala Bagh, some people use the word 'massacre'," Khan told the media after visiting the Jallianwala Bagh Complex.
"It was incredibly moving to visit Jallianwala Bagh, the tragedy of Baisakhi in 1919 is one we must never forget, it is time for the British government to apologize at last, our thoughts are with all those who died," Khan wrote in the Guestbook after paying flower tributes at the monument.
Khan toured the Jallianwala Bagh compound and saw the martyr's well and bullets along the walls.
Hundreds of Indians, including women and children and the elderly, were shot dead by British troops led by Brigadier General Reginald Dyer on April 13, 1919.
Victims had no place to escape anymore that the only narrow entrance was blocked by the troops. Records from the colonial era put the death toll at around 400, while leaders of the country's freedom movement said more than 1,000 were killed.
Although British monarch Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Phillip visited Jallianwala Bagh in October 1997, they offered no apology for the massacre.
British Prime Minister David Cameroon visited Jallianwala Bagh in February 2013 and expressed regret for the killings, avoiding a formal apology.
Khan, later on December 6, visited the Golden Temple complex, where Harmandir Sahib, the holiest of Sikh shrines, stands and offered prayers.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee gave Khan a & # 39; siropa & # 39; (Honor tunic) during the visit. He also visited the langar room, the largest community kitchen in the world, in the sanctuary complex and shared "langar". sitting on the floor.
On the evening of December 5, the chief minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh, minister of the local bodies Navjot Singh Sidhu and others met Khan at a dinner offered for him.
Khan, who was on a tour of three Indian cities, visiting Mumbai, New Delhi and Amritsar, then crossed into Pakistan from the Attari-Wagah land border, some 30 km from here.
The mayor of London, of Pakistani origin, will visit Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in Pakistan.