Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday along with Governor VPS Badnore led a candlelight march for the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh incident, a day ahead of the 100 years of the incident. On Saturday, April 13, an event to remember the martyrs of the brutal massacre will be held.
Captain Singh and the Punjab Governor paid tribute to the martys of the Jallianwala Bagh by holding the march from the TownHall via the Golden Temple to the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial. They also maintained silence in memory of the martyrs.
On Saturday, Rahul Gandhi and Amarinder Singh will pay homage at 8:30 am at Jallianwala Bagh. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu will pay homage and give ex-gratia to family of martyrs.
The Punjab CM had on Tuesday said that he wanted to observe a large scale event honouring the martyrs of the massacre, but the Election Commission did not give its nod.
"We wanted to observe it on a large scale, but EC isn't allowing. So on 12th evening we'll take out a candle light march, next morning Congress President is coming & he'll pay his respects at the memorial."
Punjab CEO S Karuna Raju had said that the chief ministers, cabinet ministers, MPs, MLAs and other politicians would be allowed to participate in the functions which would be organised to commemorate the centenary of Jallianwala Bagh massacre. "The Election Commission of India has conveyed its approval on the condition that the ministers and lawmakers must confine themselves to "extolling the achievements of the martyrs, glory of the Indian state and so on", he said.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday said that the Jallianwala Bagh massacre was a "shameful scar on British Indian history", though she stopped short of offering a formal apology.
"The tragedy of Jallianwala Bagh of 1919 is a shameful scar on British Indian history. As Her Majesty the Queen (Elizabeth II) said before visiting Jallianwala Bagh in 1997, it is a distressing example of our past history with India," she said in her statement during her weekly Prime Minister's Questions in the UK Parliament.
On the harvest festival of Baisakhi on April 13, 1919, in the backdrop of the tyrannical Rowlatt Bill which aimed to curtail civic liberties and the subsequent Satyagraha launched by Mahatma Gandhi Ji, 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 indiscriminately by tyrant British General Dyer and his men. The shooting had continued for ten minutes claiming 379 lives as per government estimates, though the figure is believed to be much higher. As there were few exits out of the ground for people to escape leading to hundreds perishing in the firing, while dozens had also drowned in their attempt to escape by jumping into a well on the premises. Several bodies were recovered from the well, which was later named as 'martyr's well'.Years later, General Dyer had remained unrepentant about his inhuman act, while the then British government also refused to reprimand him.