Asia-Pacific

UK should apologise to India over Jallianwala Bagh massacre: Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan says Britain shouldn't roll out the red carpet to US President Donald Trump. Source: AAP

The UK government should apologise for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, in which 400 Sikhs were shot by British soldiers, insists London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called on the British government to make a formal apology for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in which nearly 400 Sikhs were shot dead by British Indian army soldiers.

During a visit to the Golden Temple at Amritsar in northern India, the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism, Khan called the massacre one of the most horrific events in Indian history.

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

London Mayor Sadiq Khan doing sewa at Langar hall after paying obeisance at Golden Temple, on December 6, 2017 in Amritsar, India.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan doing sewa at Langar hall after paying obeisance at Golden Temple, on December 6, 2017 in Amritsar, India.
Getty

 

At least 379 Sikhs were killed, but the figure is still disputed.

"It is wrong that successive British governments have fallen short of delivering a formal apology to the families of those who were killed," Khan said.

"I'm clear that the government should now apologise, especially as we reach the centenary of the massacre.

"This is about properly acknowledging what happened here and giving the people of Amritsar and India the closure they need through a formal apology."

Khan, who is from the opposition Labour Party, does not speak for Britain's Conservative government.

Former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron visited Amritsar at the end of a trade mission to India four years ago in a show of contrition over the massacre but stopped short of making a formal apology.

Khan is on a six-day mission to India and Pakistan to strengthen cultural and economic ties with the British capital.

There was no immediate comment from the UK Foreign Office in London.

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