100 years ago today our freedom fighters were martyred at Jallianwala Bagh. On 13 April 1919 British troops fired on thousands of unarmed people gathered for a peaceful protest in Amritsar. More than 400 innocent people were killed after some 50 British soldiers opened fire within the walled enclosure in Jallianwala Bagh, still pocketed with bullet marks from 100 years ago. The massacre was a symbol of colonial cruelty.
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre is one of the darkest chapters of India’s freedom struggle against the British occupation. At this date more than 1000 unarmed and innocent people had gathered at Jallianwala Bagh garden, Brigadier General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer arrived there with his armed troops, enclosed the exit and without warning ordered his soldiers to open fire.
People started running in order to save their life, several tried to escape the walls of the garden while many jumped into an open well. Walls at the garden are still pocketed with bullet marks.
The British government, even after 100 years, has only regretted the massacre but stopped short of apologizing for the killing of so many innocent people.
“The events of Jallianwala Bagh reflects a shameful act in British Indian history. We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused.” Asquith wrote in the visitors book at the memorial.
On Friday, hundreds of people, including students, residents and visitors held a candlelight vigil in Amritsar.
“Today, when we observe India pays tributes to all those martyred on that fateful day. Their valour and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Their memory inspires us to work even harder to build an India they would be proud of,” Modi said.