Baroness Verma, former Conservative minister and member of the House of Lords, has asked for a British government inquiry to look into the atrocities committed during the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in the Amritsar district of India on 13 April 1919.

The troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer fired rifles into a crowd of Indians, killing more than 1000 people at Jallianwala.

ब्रिटिश राजनीतिज्ञ और हाउस औफ़ लॉर्ड्ज़ की सदस्या बैरॉनेस वर्मा ने माँग की है कि ब्रिटिश सरकार जलीयंवाला बाग़ में हुए नरसंहार की जाँच कराए।

“The British government can decide the terms of reference for the inquiry. I want to know WHY? Why did that (JM) incident happen? We can’t change the history, but at least we can learn something from those events. No one in India has ever asked me to raise the issue of Jallianwala Massacre but, because, I myself come from the city of Amritsar, I decided to ask why? When I go to Amritsar, I feel for those innocent people, including children and women, who got killed in that massacre. But at the same time I’m not in favour of re-igniting old debates. This is something very personal to me,” said Baroness Sandip Verma.

Responding to a question on immigration, Baroness Verma said: “In this country, racism does exist, even today, and that can only be uprooted by coming together. The colour of skin is a problem for some.”

She acknowledged Indian students in Britain face tough laws of immigration. She said: “I’m saying the number of Indian students getting visa to live here should not be linked to the total immigration numbers. Those who come to this country must feel they are welcome. They contribute to our economy. No body should feel that the colour of skin is a barrier. Racism for me is a big issue and we must tackle it. Sajid Javed is a very good parliamentarian and a ver good home secretary. He understands the wider issues.”

Baroness Sandip Verma was made a Conservative life peer in 2006 taking the title Baroness Verma, of Leicester in the County of Leicestershire. Baroness Verma served as a Minister (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State) at the Department for International Development from May 2015 until July 2016, and previously served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Born in Amritsar in Punjab, India, Baroness Verma moved as a child with her parents to England.

Baroness Verma was interviewed by Pervaiz Alam at the Parliament Terrace on 12 June 2018.


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