Dominic Asquith, the United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to India, visited the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial in Amritsar on Saturday. Saturday marked 100 years of the tragedy.
“The events of Jallianwala Bagh 100 years ago today reflect a shameful act in British Indian history,” Asquith wrote. “We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused.”
Asquith further added that he was pleased that the UK and India “have and remain committed to developing further a thriving 21st century partnership”.
Asked why an apology was not tendered by the British government, Asquith said, “I know this is a really important question. I would just ask you to respect what I came here to do, which is to commemorate those who died a hundred years ago and to express the sorrow of the British government and of the British people.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Today, when we observe 100 years of the horrific Jallianwala Bagh massacre, India pays tributes to all those martyred on that fateful day. Their valour and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Their memory inspires us to work even harder to build an India they would be proud of.”
“Today is the centenary of the brutal Jallianwalla Bagh massacre, a day of infamy that stunned the entire world and changed the course of the Indian freedom struggle. The cost of our freedom must never be forgotten. #JallianwalaBaghCentenary,” shared the Congress President Rahul Gandhi on his Twitter handle.
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place on 13 April 1919 when the British Indian Army under the command of Acting Brig-Gen Reginald Dyer fired rifles into a crowd of Indians, who had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab. The civilians had assembled for a peaceful protest to condemn the arrest and deportation of two national leaders, Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew.