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100 years of Jallianwala Bagh: How the massacre unfolded

100 years of Jallianwala Bagh: How the massacre unfolded

The memory of those killed in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre serves as an inspiration to work for an India they would be proud of, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday on the centenary of the tragic event.

The massacre took place at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar during the Baisakhi festival in April 1919 when the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire at a crowd staging a pro-independence demonstration, leaving scores dead. As her Majesty, the Queen said before visiting Jallianwala Bagh 1997, it is a distressing example of our past history with India.

As India commemorates the 100th anniversary of the massacre of hundreds of innocent Indians by British forces at the Jallianwala Bagh, members of the film industry, including Amitabh Bachchan, Sunny Deol, Bhumi Pednekar and Madhur Bhandarkar, paid tributes to the martyrs.

"Today, when we observe 100 years of the horrific Jallianwala Bagh massacre, India pays tributes to all those martyred on that fateful day".

"Toilet: Ek Prem Katha" star Bhumi urged people to "always remember the courage and sacrifice of our freedom fighters" and to get inspired by their "valour and contribution into making our country stronger".

Offering tributes to the fallen, Naidu's message in the visitor's book at the memorial read, "I feel extremely humbled as I pay my homage to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives fighting the evil hegemony of the oppressive British rule".

"We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused", he wrote.

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Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, in Amritsar on Saturday, on Twitter called the massacre "a day of infamy that stunned the entire world and changed the course of the Indian freedom struggle".

May, however, stopped short of offering a formal apology.

The number of casualties is unclear, with colonial-era records showing about 400 deaths, while Indian figures put the number at closer to 1,000.

In Amritsar, news that prominent Indian leaders had been arrested and banished from the city sparked violent protests on April 10.

Amritsar's Jallianwala Bagh was a desolate piece of land partly used for dumping garbage.

Many tried to escape by scaling the high walls surrounding the area. "I shall never forget the sight", said Ratan Devi, whose husband was killed.

Indian newspapers this week repeated their calls for an apology for a massacre that Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for war, called "monstrous". India gained independence from Britain in 1947.