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Punjab House seeks British govt apology for Jallianwala massacre

The resolution received support from the Opposition ranks too as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), SAD-BJP combine and the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) supported it, and it was passed unanimously through voice vote.

The Punjab Assembly Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution, seeking an apology from the British government for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The state will now urge the Government of India to mount pressure on the British government for an official apology.

The British troops, under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer, had fired on civilians who had gathered at Jallianwala Bagh for a peaceful protest on April 13, 1919 leaving scores of people dead.

Moving the resolution, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra said that in the centenary year of the massacre, it was important that the nation demand an apology from the British. The resolution received support from the Opposition ranks too as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), SAD-BJP combine and the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) supported it, and it was passed unanimously through voice vote.

“The tragic massacre of innocent protesters in Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar on April 13, 1919 remains one of the most horrific memories of British colonial rule in India. This shameful military action against locals peacefully protesting against the oppressive Rowlatt Act has since received worldwide condemnation. However, its proper acknowledgement could only be by way of a formal apology by the British government to the people of India as we observe the centenary of this great tragedy,” the resolution read.

“This House thus unanimously recommends to the state government to take up this matter with the government of India to impress upon the British government to officially apologise for the massacre of innocent people at Jallianwala Bagh, “ it read.

LIP legislator, Balwinder Singh Bains demanded that the same resolution be expanded seeking an apology of the Punjab government for the firing on innocent protestors at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura. “Though the firing was ordered by the previous government, but I request the Chief Minister that the government should symbolically apologise to the people of the state,” he said.

SAD MLA Parminder Singh Dhindsa also spoke in favour of the resolution but added that he did not understand why similar resolutions by the opposition members were not allowed by the Speaker. “Are all resolutions which are to be passed to be tabled by the government only,” he questioned.

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