Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury has apologized for the 1919 massacre at Amritsar in India bowing his head on the ground in a personal capacity.
During a visit to the North-West city of Amritsar on Tuesday, the leader of the Church of England expressed his deep grief at Jallianwala Bagh killings that committed 100 years ago.
British troops shot more than 300 unarmed people in Amritsar on April 1919, according to colonial-era records. However, Indian figures put the total closer to 1000.
“I can’t speak for the British Government as I am not an official of the British Government. But I can speak in the name of Christ,” Archbishop of Canterbury said as he visited the location in northern India on Tuesday.
“I am so ashamed and sorry for the impact of the crime committed. I am a religious leader, not a politician. As a religious leader, I mourn the tragedy we see here,” he added.
Taking his personal apologies to the most-unfortunate event of history on social media, Welby said, “I feel a deep sense of grief having visited the site of the horrific Jallianwala Bagh Massacre today in Amritsar, where a great number of Sikhs, as well as Hindus, Muslims, and Christians, were shot dead by British troops in 1919.
I feel a deep sense of grief having visited the site of the horrific Jallianwala Bagh Massacre today in Amritsar, where…
“I have no status to apologize on behalf of the UK, its government or its history.
“But I am personally very sorry for this terrible atrocity.
“It is one of a number of deep stains on British history.
“The pain and grief that has transcended the generations since must never be dismissed or denied.”
It is pertinent to mention here that former British Prime Minister visited the site in 2013, bowing his head in honour of the hundreds of unarmed people killed.
Former British PM in the book condolence wrote the episode was “deeply shameful” however he stopped short of apologizing considering that would not be appropriate as UK authorities had earlier condemned the mass killing.
Earlier, this year former British PM Theresa May also termed the killings a “shameful scar” but she also did not apologize over it.