Some form of regret by UK will bring closure on Jallianwala massacre: Puri

Hyderabad: Days ahead of the centenary day of Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri expressed his personal view by saying that some expression of regret by Britain would help bring closure to the massacre.

The incident which happened on 13 April 1919 is seen as a turning point in the country’s freedom movement and there has been an ongoing debate that Britain should offer an apology for the incident.

According to a media report, replying to this, the minister of state for housing and urban affairs said, “Obviously, (apology) by the perpetrators. The ones who suffered are the victims, our citizens. So, I think some form of expression would be in order. But I am saying this in my personal capacity. Government of India’s stand is to be articulated by the Ministry of External Affairs or anyone else.”

He was further quoted saying that people with machine guns trained their guns on innocent people who had gathered there and that incident showed the real character of British colonialism and their colonial rule.

His maternal grandfather was present at the scene and was injured, claimed the minister. According to historical records, General Dyer had after blocking the main exit of the Jallianwala Bagh with his soldiers and armoured vehicles fired on a Baisakhi gathering for 10 minutes without warning even as the people were trying to escape.

On 20 February, the UK government had said that it was reflecting on demands for a formal apology for the massacre during the British Raj. A minister stated this in the House of Lords during a debate to mark the centenary of the attack.

NT Bureau