The unfortunate Jallianwala massacre has been celebrated today in Punjab and the Congress president Rahul Gandhi seized the opportunity to pay floral tributes at the Memorial on Saturday. He said the cost of freedom must never be forgotten.
Rahul, accompanied by Punjab state Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, his cabinet colleague, Navjot Singh Sidhu and few others, paid tributes at the memorial. They have also observed a two-minute silence to remember those who were massacred in the tragic incident on April 13, 1919.
Briefly speaking on the occasion, Rahul Gandhi said; “The cost of freedom must never ever be forgotten. I join millions today to salute all those martyrs laid down their lives had given whatever they had to attain independence.”
British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith also visited the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial separately on Saturday to pay tributes.
Asquith wrote in the Visitor’s Book; “The events of Jallianwala Bagh 100 years ago today reflect a shameful act in British Indian history. We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused.”
He further wrote, “I am pleased today that the UK and India have and remain committed to developing further a thriving 21st century partnership.”
Rahul Gandhi arrived at Amritsar late on Friday night. He was accompanied by state chief minister Capt Singh, went straight to the Golden Temple and paid obeisance at the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs.
It may be recalled, the massacre took place at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar during the Baisakhi festival in April 1919. The troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire at a crowd of people holding a pro-independence demonstration, leaving several dead and scores injured.
Interestingly, the British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday described the Jallianwala Bagh massacre as a “shameful scar” on British Indian history but stopped short of offering a formal apology.