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Jallianwala Bagh Massacre “Shameful”: UK High Commissioner

Mr Alex Ellis said that the Jallianwala Bagh massacre was a dark (black) day in the history of the UK and India.

Chandigarh: For the British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis, the massacre of the innocent people on the Vaisakhi Day in 1919 at Jallianwala Bagh was “shameful”. Regretting it during his recent visit to the historic Bagh, Mr Alex Ellis said that the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre was a dark (black) day in the history of the UK and India.

British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis visited Jallianwala Bagh memorial in Amritsar on Wednesday
British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis visited Jallianwala Bagh memorial in Amritsar on Wednesday

Though the British diplomat regretted the unprovoked firing upon innocent people who had gathered inside the Bagh to demand freedom, a formal apology from the British Government through its Prime Minister was still awaited. Though the British Prime Minister visited India some time ago, he did not go to Amritsar to avoid the sensitivities associated with the demand for a public apology by the British government for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

The demand for an apology has been gaining ground ever since the  Canadian government apologises on the floor of the House Commons. Atrocities were allegedly committed against the members of the KomaGata Maru group as they were not only refused entry but were also forced to go back. On return to India, they were fired upon by British police in Calcutta. Many of them were killed and wounded while others were taken into custody.

Though the demand has been raised in the British House of Commons. Instead of apologising for the dastardly killing of innocent people at the Bagh, the British government has been dilly-dallying the demand for a public apology.

Accompanied by Deputy High Commissioner Caroline Rowett, the British High Commissioner also paid obeisance at the Golden Temple where the SGPC chief Harjinder Singh Dhami apprised the visiting diplomats with the Sikh ‘rehat maryada’ and traditions.

Before leaving, he expressed his feelings by writing in the visitors’ book: “What happened in Jallianwala Bagh was shameful… We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused. It is not forgotten.” Similarly, Rowett wrote: “I echo the sentiments of the High Commissioner”.

Prabhjot Singh

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