Rejecting the regret expressed by British Prime Minister Theresa May as "inadequate", Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday demanded "an unequivocal official apology from Britain" for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, whose centenary is being observed on Saturday (April 13).
Terming the tragic event as "a heart-wrenching moment in India's history", Amarinder said that the people of India wanted an unequivocal apology from Britain for the atrocity.
"The Punjab Vidhan Sabha had passed a resolution demanding the same," he pointed out, adding that the tragedy was one of the most horrific examples of colonial excesses and the massacre was a moral blot on the face of Britain.
"The candles that had been lit today (Friday) had rekindled memories of the sad day and would serve as a reminder of the sacrifice of the hundreds who were killed in the massacre and went on to become an inspiring source of patriotism and nationalism for generations of Indians," the Chief Minister said.
On the eve of the centenary of the massacre and as part of the various events organized by the Punjab government to mark the historic occasion, the Chief Minister joined Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore here on Friday evening to light up the memories of the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
Amarinder and Badnore led thousands of people from all walks of life in paying homage to the martyrs with a historic candle light march. The march started from the historic Townhall and culminated at the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial.
The air along the route was rent with slogans of 'Inquilab Zindabada' as Captain Amarinder Singh and Governor Badnore joined the people in lighting candles at the memorial.
The Chief Minister, who is scheduled to pay floral tributes on Saturday at the memorial along with Congress President Rahul Gandhi, also met the families of some of the martyrs.
The brutal massacre had taken place on April 13, 1919, when, in the backdrop of the tyrannical Rowlatt Act which aimed to curtail civic liberties and the subsequent Satyagraha launched by Mahatma Gandhi, thousands had come to Amritsar to celebrate Baisakhi.
The crowd had assembled peacefully at the Bagh to condemn the arrest of two national leaders Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew when they were fired upon indiscriminately by British General Dyer and his men.
The shooting continued for 10 minutes claiming hundreds of lives.