The British government should apologise for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Wednesday, calling it a tragedy one "must never forget”.
Khan, who arrived in Amritsar on Tuesday, paid tributes to martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre here on Wednesday.
"The British government should apologise for the Jallianwala Bagh shootings. Some people use the word massacre," Khan told the media after visiting the Jallianwala Bagh complex.
"It is wrong that successive British governments have fallen short of delivering a formal apology to the families of those who were killed,” he said.
"I’m clear that the government should now apologise, especially as we reach the centenary of the massacre. This is about properly acknowledging what happened here and giving the people of Amritsar and India the closure they need through a formal apology.”
Khan also wrote in the visitor's book at the Jallianwala Bagh that the British Government must apologise for the tragedy that took place at Jallianwala Bagh in 1919.
Hundreds of innocent Indians, including women, children and old people, were shot dead by the British troops led by Brigadier General Reginald Dyer on April 13, 1919.
The victims had no place to escape as the only narrow entrance was blocked by the troops. Colonial era records had put the death toll at around 400, while leaders of the country's freedom movement had put it at over 1,000.
Though British monarch, Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Phillip, had visited the Jallianwala Bagh in October 1997, no apology for the massacre was offered.
Khan, who is from the opposition Labour Party, does not speak for Britain’s Conservative government.
Khan is on a six-day mission to India and Pakistan to strengthen cultural and economic ties with the British capital.
The British Foreign Office said in a statement: "As the former Prime Minister said when he visited the Jallianwala Bagh in 2013, the massacre was a deeply shameful act in British history and one that we should never forget.
"It is right that we pay respect to those who lost their lives and remember what happened. The British Government rightly condemned the events at the time.”
Earlier on Tuesday evening, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and others met Khan at a dinner hosted for him.
Khan, who was on a three-city tour of India, visiting Mumbai, New Delhi and Amritsar, later crossed over into Pakistan from the Attari-Wagah joint check post land border between India and Pakistan, about 30 km from here.
The London Mayor, who is of Pakistani-origin, will also visit Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in Pakistan.