In Amritsar, London Mayor says time for British to apologise for Jallianwala

London mayor Sadiq Khan helps prepare food in the community kitchen of the Golden Temple in Amritsar

London mayor Sadiq Khan helps prepare food in the community kitchen of the Golden Temple in Amritsar

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged the Government to apologise for a colonial-era massacre in India in which hundreds of people were killed.

Khan, who was on a three-city tour of India, visiting Mumbai, New Delhi and Amritsar, later crossed over to Pakistan from the Attari-Wagah land border, about 30 km from here.

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. "I'm clear that the (UK) government should now apologise, especially as we reach the centenary of the massacre. It is shameful that, nearly 100 years later, this has not yet happened".

Hundreds of Indians, including women, children and the elderly, were shot dead by British troops led by Brigadier General Reginald Dyer April 13, 1919. Khan, on his maiden visit to Amritsar, paid tributes to those who died at the sprawling ground in the city."The British government should apologize for the Jallianwala Bagh shootings".

Over the years, several MPs and politicians of Indian and South Asian-origin have asked the United Kingdom government to offer an apology to the Indian people but members of the royal family and British premiers have never gone that far during their visits to India.

Now on a visit to the Indian sub-continent on "London is open" campaign, Sadiq Khan, made this statement, through his official twitter account, while visiting the massacre site Jallianwala Bagh near Amritsar on Tuesday.

"It was incredibly moving to visit Jallianwala Bagh".

Khan went around the Jallianwala Bagh complex and saw the Martyr's Well and the bullet marks on the walls. "Our thoughts are with all those who died", he wrote. "The British Government rightly condemned the events at the time".

London Mayor Sadiq Khan visited the Golden Temple here on Wednesday.

Today's visit forms part of the Mayor's six-day mission to India and Pakistan to strengthen their cultural and economic ties with London.

He is the first high ranking British official to call for an apology.

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