Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today paid homage to the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, saying their sacrifice had not gone in vain as the incident marked a decisive step towards ending the British rule in India.
Today was the 98th anniversary of the massacre. In a statement issued here, Amarinder said the nation will always remember the victims of the massacre, who laid down their lives to give the freedom struggle a strong lease of life, eventually culminating in the ouster of the British from India.
The massacre occurred on April 13, 1919, when non-violent protesters, along with Baisakhi pilgrims, were subjected to unprovoked firing by the British Indian Army troops, commanded by Colonel Reginald Dyer.
More than 1,000 people were believed to have died in the action, which left the nation in a state of shock and paved the way for widespread public rebellion.
Recalling the shocking brutality of the British, Amarinder said the incident underlined the importance of a more humanitarian approach by the police and armed forces around the world, adding that neither war nor peace gives an excuse to such forces for destroying innocent lives.
The chief minister urged all the countries to embrace peace and live together in the spirit of brotherhood and amity. “Let incidents like the Jallianwala Bagh massacre serve as a grim reminder to all of us that brutality and violence destroy the very fabric of all that humanity stands for,” he said.
Amarinder also extended his greetings to the people, particularly Punjabis around the world, on the auspicious and festive occasion of Baisakhi.
“Punjab today stands at the threshold of a new era and is ready to shrug off the legacy of pain and suffering of the past several years,” he said while stressing on the need to live in harmony and bonhomie for collective progress.