Formally apologise for Jallianwala: London mayor

Formally apologise for Jallianwala: London mayor

Formally apologise for Jallianwala: London mayor

The British government has reiterated its past stance on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, following the call from London Mayor Sadiq Khan for a formal apology from the government, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the atrocity in 2019. The tragedy in 1919 on Baisakhi is one we must never forget.

The UK Foreign Office statement comes after Khan during his visit to Amritsar yesterday said the British government should apologise for the mass killing.

The British monarchy and the United Kingdom government have so far not issued a formal apology over Jallianwala Bagh.

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Writing in the visitors' book, Khan said it had been "incredibly moving" to see the site of the massacre, calling it a tragedy that should never be forgotten. "This is about properly acknowledging what happened here and giving the people of Amritsar and India the closure they need through a formal apology", Pakistani-origin Khan said during his ongoing trade mission to India and Pakistan.

Khan went around the Jallianwala Bagh complex and saw the Martyr's Well and the bullet marks on the walls. "Our thoughts are with all those who died", he wrote.

All the exits were blocked by the troops and protesters had nowhere to escape. Colonial-era records put the death toll at around 400, while leaders of the country's freedom movement said over 1,000 were killed.

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In October, Mayor Sadiq Khan, whose grandparents were born in India and parents migrated from Pakistan to United Kingdom, said he would visit India and Pakistan to promote the British capital as a destination of choice for trade and cultural ties.

Though British monarch, Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Phillip, had visited the Jallianwala Bagh in October 1997, no apology for the massacre was offered.

Mr Khan was also presented with a Siropa (robe of honour) by the officials of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). He also visited the Langar hall, the largest community kitchen in the world, in the shrine complex and partook "langar" sitting on the floor.

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During a visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism, Khan called the massacre one of the most horrific events in Indian history. On Thursday he is in Islamabad and is scheduled to visit Karachi before he returns to London.

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