The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919 when British Indian Army soldiers fired rifles into a huge mob of Indians, who had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, Punjab. On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May quoted the Jallianwala Bagh massacre(1919) as a "shameful scar" on British Indian history but stopped short of a formal apology sought by a cross-section of parliament in previous debates.
Marking the 100th anniversary of the massacre, the Prime Minister reiterated the remorse state, which was already expressed by the British government earlier. She expressed this at her weekly PM's questions session at the House of Commons. The massacre claimed nearly 400 lives in the city of Amritsar.
"The tragedy of Jallianwala Bagh of 1919 is a shameful scar on British Indian history. Her Majesty the Queen (Elizabeth II) said before visiting Jallianwala Bagh in 1997, it is a distressing example of our past history with India," Theresa May said. She added, "We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused. I am pleased that today the UK-India relationship is one of collaboration, partnership, prosperity and security. Indian diaspora make an enormous contribution to British society and I am sure the whole House wishes to see the UK' relationship with India continue to flourishâ€.
The opposition labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded that those who lost their lives in 1919 deserve an unequivocal apology. The Conservative Party MP Bob Blackman stated that the whole incident was an absolute shame and children in British schools should be taught about the tragedy because people should know what happened in Britain's name and that "saying sorry - apologising for this massacre - is the right thing to do".
Labour MP Pat McFadden said that though the present relations between the UK and India are friendly and constructive, it does not mean that an apology would not be good.