PM lays wreath at massacre site

David Cameron today laid a wreath at the memorial to the 1919 Amritsar massacre in India, bowing his head and standing in silence to pay respect to those who died.

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Cameron's remorse 'stronger than Queen's comments'

David Cameron's words of remorse today are expected to be stronger than the comments of the Queen when she laid a wreath at the memorial in 1997 and described the massacre as a "distressing" example of the "moments of sadness" in Anglo-Indian history.

In 2005, as Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw visited the memorial and wrote:

This was a terrible occasion in which so many innocents were slaughtered: and for which I feel ashamed and full of sorrow.

Thankfully, so many Punjabis now live in the United Kingdom in peace and harmony, and our two countries today enrich each other.

– Jack Straw, speaking in 2005


David Cameron to visit India massare site

David Cameron will express his remorse for the most notorious atrocity in Britain's imperial history in India today. He will visit the scene of the Amritsar massacre of 1919 and sign a book of condolence to the hundreds of people who died when British troops opened fire on a protest.

  • Mr Cameron will make it clear that he regards the episode as deeply shameful, but is not expected to make an apology
  • His aides indicated he felt such a gesture would be inappropriate, as the killings were condemned from the start by British authorities
  • An inquiry commissioned by the Raj colonial authorities found that 379 people died in the public gardens of Jallianwala Bagh. This figure has been widely challenged by Indian sources, who put the death toll at 1,000 or more
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