London: Virendra Sharma, one of Britain's senior-most Indian-origin MPs, has tabled a parliamentary motion, calling for Prime Minister Theresa May to apologise for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar.
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, according to PTI.
"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 one April 13, 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 civilians, majority of them Sikhs, had assembled to participate in the annual Baisakhi celebrations, a religious and cultural festival for Punjabi people and also to condemn the arrest and deportation of two national leaders Satya Pal and Dr Saifuddin Kitchlew.
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".