The Mayor at the Jallianwala Bagh memorial

Mayor calls for apology for Jallianwala Bagh massacre

06 December 2017

Mayor Sadiq Khan today called on the British Government to make a “full and formal apology” to the people of India for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre nearly a century ago, as he visited the city of Amritsar in the country's north-west.

Considered one of the most tragic events in Indian history, on 13 April 1919 troops from the British Indian Army fired on unarmed civilians, killing hundreds and wounding many more.

Visiting the Jallianwala Bagh memorial and garden on Wednesday as part of a 6-day trade mission to India and Pakistan, Sadiq paid his respects to those who lost their lives in the massacre and extended his own apologies.

“It is one of the most horrific events in Indian history and it is shameful that successive British Governments have fallen short of delivering a formal apology almost 100 years on,” the Mayor said.

Earlier in the day, Sadiq visited the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the most important pilgrimage site of the Sikh faith, and met with volunteers preparing food for the local community.

He took the opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to create a war memorial in central London to honour the Sikh servicemen and women who fought alongside British troops in the First and Second World Wars.

“Britain and the world owe a huge debt to the Sikh servicemen and women who fought alongside British troops during the First and Second World Wars,” Sadiq said.

“These brave individuals sacrificed an enormous amount to defend the freedoms that we enjoy today and it is only right that there is a memorial in our capital city to honour the Sikhs who fought to preserve our freedoms,” he said.