Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday paid tribute to those killed in Jallianwala Bagh on the occasion of the 99th anniversary of the massacre that shook the nation and became a catalyst of the freedom movement.

“Tributes to the brave martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The indomitable spirit of the martyrs will always be remembered. They sacrificed their lives for our freedom,” the PM wrote on Twitter.

 

Mamata Banerjee was also among the prominent leaders who paid tributes to the approximately 1000 innocent, unarmed civilians who were killed brutally by British soldiers under orders from Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer.

“Today is the 99th anniversary of the shameful Jallianwala Bagh massacre. My sincerest tribute to the victims of that day,” wrote the West Bengal Chief Minister.

 

Also among the leaders was former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, who wrote on Twitter, “My humble & sincere tributes to those who laid down their precious lives in the #JallianwalaBagh Massacre!”

 

Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that the massacre triggered the fight against imperialism of the British.

“Massacre ignited a generation against the Imperialism. May the spirit of patriotism and the supreme sacrifice of martyrs continue to inspire us to fight injustice of any sort! Heartfelt tribute to the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre!” she wrote.

 

The Congress party, too, remembered the selfless sacrifice of those killed on the day.

“Saluting the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Their courage and selfless sacrifice will never be forgotten,” read a tweet on its official handle.

 

On 13 April 1919, British soldiers fired on a crowd that had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, located in Amritsar, Punjab, to celebrate Baishakhi.

Before firing at the unarmed gathering, the troops blocked the entrance to the walled public garden with a tank. They then began firing, which continued for 10 minutes. Official figures claim 379 dead and 1,200 wounded. Other sources put the number of those killed to over 1,000.

The incident angered India. The massacre flamed the freedom struggle inspiring many of India’s greatest revolutionaries to fight against the British rule.

Rabindranath Tagore returned the knighthood conferred on him by the British Government in protest of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.