The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919 on the day of the Punjabi festival ‘Vaisakhi’. The troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer fired rifles into a crowd of Indians, who had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab. Many civilians had assembled for a peaceful protest to condemn the arrest and deportation of two national leaders, Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew. There was also gatherings of people who were out celebrating the Vasiakhi festival and this included children and women. During the festival there were many Hindus and Muslims who also came to celebrate.
Without sending any warning or without asking the gathered people to disperse, General Dyer ordered the soldiers to open fire.
He even asked the soldiers to shoot directly at those large gatherings.
As the firing started, the crowd panicked and tried to escape from wherever possible. This led to stampede, killing several people.
There was a well in Jallianwala Bagh and people jumped into it in order to escape bullets and ended up dying.
MP’s across the UK have put forward to the House of Commons to formally apologise in Parliament and commemorate the Jallianwala Bagh massacre with a memorial day.
Calls for an apology for what is widely regarded as one of the most barbaric attacks on Indians by the British colonial administration come every few years. Each time a head of government or the queen visits, the question of whether they will or will not apologise gets aired.
Jallianwala Bagh is a stone throw away from the Golden Temple in Amritsar and is now a national monument.
Should Britain Apologies for Jallianwala Bagh?