No apology for Jallianwala Bagh as Theresa May repeats 'deep regret'

Prime Minister Theresa May has repeated the U.K government's deep regret over the Jallianwala Bagh massacre to mark the 100th anniversary of the British colonial era attack in Amritsar on Vaisakhi.

The massacre took place at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar (undivided Punjab) during the Vaisakhi festival on April 13, 1919, when troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire at a crowd of people holding a pro-independence demonstration, leaving scores dead.

At a Vaisakhi reception at Downing Street in London on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister May repeated words from her House of Commons statement last month as she referred to the 'shameful scar' on British Indian history.

"We deeply regret what happened and the pain inflicted on so many people," she told a gathering of the Indian diaspora.

She said: "No one who has heard the accounts of what happened that day can fail to be deeply moved. No one can truly imagine what the visitors to those gardens went through that day one hundred years ago.

"It was - as the former prime minister H.H Asquith described it at the time 'one of the worst outrages in the whole of our history'."

However, it fell short of a formal apology demanded by a cross-section of British parliamentarians and Sikh activists to mark the centenary of the massacre that affected thousands of Indian lives.

(with news agency inputs)