London: On Tuesday, the UK government refused to issue a formal apology for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre citing financial implications as one of the main issues. Speaking at Westminster Hall in the House of Commons complex UK Foreign Office minister Mark Field said that he has “slightly orthodox views on Britain's colonial past” and added that he feels a bit reluctant to apologise for things that have occurred in the past. Speaking in the House of Commons Field said that repeatedly issuing apologies for events connected to the British Raj had its own set of problems and added that it will set a wrong precedent as financial implications might follow once the formal apology is issued.
However, it is to be noted that, he reiterated his governments deepest regret over April 13, 1919 massacre and said: “The issue of appropriately marking the sombre 100th anniversary remains a work in progress and an active debate was taking place amongst ministers and senior officials.” Stressing on the modern relationship with India with focus on the future Field said he had been compelled to take a message back to Downing Street that perhaps a little more is required than the deep regret already expressed by the UK government.
On the fateful day of April 1923, General Dyer, the Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, asked his soldiers to block the main exit of the park and ordered them to fire immediately. The fire which continued for no more than 10 minutes lead to the death of many men, women and children. The debate was tabled by Conservative Party MP Bob Blackman and veteran Indian-origin Labour MP Virendra Sharma demanded a formal apology from British Prime Minister Theresa May, with others echoing a similar demand of construing a memorial to honour the fallen.