In UK, Indian-Origin Lawmaker Tables Motion On Jallianwala Bagh, Asks Theresa May To Apologise For Massacre

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The motion was filed by Virendra Sharma earlier this week. — Twitter photo

The EDM calls on the House of Commons to recognise the importance of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre as a turning point in the history of the British Empire in India.

LONDON (PTI) — One of Britain’s senior-most Indian-origin MPs has tabled a parliamentary motion, calling for Prime Minister Theresa May to apologise for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar during the Raj in 1919.

Virendra Sharma tabled his Early Day Motion (EDM) titled ‘Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919’ earlier this week and has attracted five additional signatures from British lawmakers so far.

“This was an important moment in the history of Britain in India. Many suggest it was the beginning of the end, a moment that finally emboldened the Independence Movement. It must be commemorated, and the British government should make clear its repudiation of such a barbaric act,” said the Labour Party lawmaker for Ealing Southall.

The massacre took place in Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar over Baisakhi in April 1919 when troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Dyer fired machine guns at a crowd of people holding a pro-independence demonstration. It claimed thousands of lives and injured thousands others.

The EDM calls on the House of Commons to recognise the importance of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre as a turning point in the history of the British Empire in India.

The EDM notes that as the centenary of the event is approaching, it is appropriate to commemorate it.

It also recognises that former British Prime Minister David Cameron referred to the massacre as a “deeply shameful act” during a visit to India.

It urges the government to ensure that “British children are taught about this shameful period and that modern British values welcome the right to peaceful protest; and further urges the government formally to apologise in the House and inaugurate a memorial day to commemorate this event”.

EDMs are formal motions tabled in the House of Commons as a means of drawing attention to a particular issue or cause.

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