Amritsar: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday paid homage to the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, marking the 100th anniversary of the massacre by the British forces. He was accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and state minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.
“The cost of freedom must never ever be forgotten. We salute the people of India who gave everything they had for it,” the Congress chief wrote in the visitors’ book.
British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith also visited the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial separately on Saturday. In the visitors’ book, he wrote, “The events of Jallianwala Bagh 100 years ago today reflect a shameful act in British Indian history. We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind remembered the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh massacre and paid tribute to their valour and sacrifice.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi posted, “Today, when we observe 100 years of the horrific Jallianwala Bagh massacre, 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.”
On the other hand, President Ram Nath Kovind remembered the martyrs and said that the ‘the day of sacrifice can never be forgotten’. “A 100 years ago today, our beloved freedom fighters were martyred at Jallianwala Bagh. A horrific massacre, a stain on civilisation, that day of sacrifice can never be forgotten by India. At this solemn moment, we pay our tribute to the immortals of Jallianwala,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted on Saturday.
Notably, the Election Commission (EC) hasn’t allowed observing the 100 years of Jallianwala Bagh massacre on a large scale, a programme commemorating the event will be held in Punjab on Saturday. Only 12 families of those killed in the massacre have been invited for the programme because the state administration failed to trace the descendants of the remaining martyrs.
On Friday on the eve of the centenary, hundreds of people held a candlelight march in Amritsar. People carried candles and walked a kilometre distance from the Town Hall building in Amritsar towards the Jallianwala Bagh near the Golden Temple complex. The national flag was also carried and patriotic songs were played in the background when people conducted the candlelight march.
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place on April 13, 1919, in which over 1,000 peaceful protesters were mercilessly killed on order of British colonel Dyer in Amritsar.
(With PTI inputs)