Archbishop of Canterbury expresses 'profound shame' for British massacre in India

The Church of England's Archbishop of Canterbury apologized in a public way -- by falling down on the floor --for the "terrible atrocity" by British colonial forces 100 years ago in a massacre of hundreds of Indians peacefully demonstrating for independence.

Addressing the attack in northwest India, Archbishop Justin Welby tweeted: "I feel a deep sense of grief, humility and profound shame having visited the site of the horrific Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar today. Here, a great number of Sikhs – as well as Hindus, Muslims and Christians – were shot dead by British troops in 1919."

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More than 300 Indians were killed and over 1,200 injured on April 13, 1919, when the British Indian Army opened fire on a crowd at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, which is near the city's Golden Temple, the holiest site to the Sikh faith.

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Welby, who has been archbishop since 2013, noted that he was not speaking on behalf of the British government, but instead was making a personal apology.

When asked if he would seek an apology from the British government, Welby reportedly said: "I think I have been very clear about what I feel and that will be broadcast in England."

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Former British Prime Minister Theresa May stopped short of a formal apology in April when she called the killings a "shameful scar" in British-Indian history.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.