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Britain Must Apologize for Jallianwala Bagh Killings, Says London Mayor Sadiq Khan

Britain Must Apologize for Jallianwala Bagh Killings, Says London Mayor Sadiq Khan

Mr Khan made the statement on Tuesday on a visit to Jallianwala Bagh, the site of the massacre, in the north Indian state of Punjab. "Although our two great countries now have a close relationship in business, culture, education and more, an apology from the British Government will go a long way in healing the wounds left by this terrible event". "It is time for the British government to finally apologize", he wrote. Cameron defended his decision to not offer a formal apology by saying: "So I don't think the right thing is to reach back into history and to seek out things you can apologise for". The memorial was inaugurated in 1961 and serves as a way to remember those who died and were injured in the massacre.

Over the years, several MPs and politicians of Indian and South Asian-origin have asked the United Kingdom government to offer an apology to the Indian people but members of the royal family and British premiers have never gone that far during their visits to India.

Khan, who is from the Opposition Labour Party, does not speak for Britain's Conservative government. "It is shameful that, nearly 100 years later, this has not yet happened".

Though British monarch Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Phillip visited Jallianwala Bagh in October 1997, they did not offer an apology for the massacre. Khan saw the bullet marks on the walls surrounding the memorial.

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"During my visit to this fantastic country and the Jallianwala Bagh memorial and gardens, I've heard how the scars of the massacre are still felt in Amritsar". It is thought that 379 people were killed, but the figure is still disputed.

A hundred years is not late for an apology, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demonstrated in May 2016 when he formally expressed regret in the country's House of Commons for the Komagata Maru incident of 1914.

On Sunday April 13 1919, some 50 soldiers began shooting at unarmed civilians who were taking part in a peaceful protest against oppressive laws enforced in the region by British colonial authorities.

The British monarchy and the United Kingdom government have so far not issued a formal apology over Jallianwala Bagh. "We must never forget what happened here and we must ensure that the United Kingdom stands up for the right of peaceful protests".


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