Jallianwala Bagh massacre: Rahul visits memorial, salutes people of India


Amritsar's Jallianwala Bagh was a desolate piece of land partly used for dumping garbage.

"We must never forget what happened here".

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, as it is known in India, saw British troops fire on thousands of unarmed men, women and children in the northern city of Amritsar on the afternoon of April 13, 1919.

India can never forget that bad massacre that stigmatized civilization.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today weighed in on the debate over the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre by the British, which has been raging between the Congress and the BJP in Punjab.

President Ramnath Kovind tweeted a picture of Jalianwala: "Our dear freedom army had been martyred in Jallianwala Bagh a hundred years ago".

Many dignitaries during the remembrance, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, and Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, reached the memorial and remembered the martyrs. "You might want to rewrite history, but you can't", he said.

The number of casualties from the event, which hardened opposition to colonial rule, is unclear, with colonial-era records showing about 400 deaths, while Indian figures put the number of fatalities in at closer to 1,000.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday called the killings a "shameful scar" in British-Indian history but stopped short of formally apologizing. "We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused", May said at British Parliament earlier this week.

He said "an unequivocal official apology" is needed for the "monumental barbarity".

He spoke at a memorial marking the centenary of the attack at Jallianwala Bagh by British colonial troops against unarmed Indians attending a peaceful rally calling for independence. Many tried unsuccessfully to escape by scaling the walls.

It was later stated that 1,650 bullets had been fired (derived by counting empty cartridge cases picked up by the troops).

The massacre became a symbol of colonial cruelty and for decades Indians have demanded an apology from Britain, including during Queen Elizabeth's visit to Amritsar in 1997.

India pays tribute to all those martyred on that fateful day.

"I, with eight or nine others, had to search for about half an hour till I could pick up his corpse as it was mixed up with hundreds of dead bodies lying in heaps there", Ram said. "A number of them were poor innocent children", one witness later recalled.

Dyer, dubbed "the butcher of Amritsar", reportedly said later it was a necessary measure, and that the firing was "not to disperse the meeting but to punish the Indians for disobedience".