United Kingdom must apologize for Jallianwala Bagh: London Mayor

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on Wednesday has called on the British government to make a "full and formal apology" to the people of India for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre almost 100 years ago. The mass shooting - known as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, and which took place on April 13, 1919 - killed 379 people.

"I'm clear that the Government should now apologise, especially as we reach the centenary of the massacre". It is time for the British government to finally apologise.

Visiting the Jallianwala Bagh memorial on Wednesday, Khan paid his respects to those who lost their lives in the massacre and extended his "own apologies", according to a statement on the London mayor's website.

The Punjab chief minister said he heard Khan's remarks on the Jallianwala incident and was happy to know about his feelings on the matter.

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"During my visit to this incredible country and the Jallianwala Bagh memorial and gardens, I've heard how the scars of the massacre are still felt in Amritsar. Some people use the word massacre", Mr Khan told the media after visiting the Jallianwala Bagh complex. The tragedy in 1919 on Baisakhi is one we must never forget. "Our thoughts are with all those who died", Khan wrote in the visitor's book after paying floral tributes at the memorial.

All the exits were blocked by the troops and protesters had nowhere to escape.

Colonial-era records show about 400 people died when soldiers opened fire on men, women and children in the enclosed area, but Indian figures put the toll at closer to 1,000.

Though British monarch Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Phillip visited Jallianwala Bagh in October 1997, they did not offer an apology for the massacre.

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Mr Khan, who was on a three-city tour to India, visited New Delhi, Mumbai and Amritsar to strengthen the UK's capital trade ties with India.

He then laid a wreath and said: "It is wrong that successive British governments have fallen short of delivering a formal apology to the families of those who were killed", Reuters reports.

The London mayor, of Pakistani-origin, will visit Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in Pakistan.

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