The Most Rev Justin Welby said on social media on Tuesday that he was “personally very sorry for this terrible atrocity” after visiting the site of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in the north-west Indian city of Amritsar.
More than 300 people were killed and 1,200 injured when troops under British command fired into a crowd of protesters in April 1919.
Mr Welby posted on Facebook that visiting the site had aroused a “sense of profound shame” at what had happened.
He added: “I feel a deep sense of grief having visited the site of the horrific Jallianwala Bagh Massacre today in Amritsar, where a great number of Sikhs, as well as Hindus, Muslims and Christians, were shot dead by British troops in 1919.
“I have no status to apologise on behalf of the UK, its government or its history.
“But I am personally very sorry for this terrible atrocity.
“It is one of a number of deep stains on British history.
“The pain and grief that has transcended the generations since must never be dismissed or denied.”
In 2013 David Cameron became the first serving prime minister to visit the site of the 1919 massacre, bowing his head in honour of the hundreds of people killed.
Writing in a book of condolence, he said the episode was “deeply shameful” and should never be forgotten.
But he stopped short of apologising, saying that this would not be appropriate as the killings were condemned…
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