The Indian High Commission in London reached out to UK Foreign and home office after a large group of protestors began protesting in front of the mission, defying COVID-19 protocols and carrying Khalistani flags. The gathering of 3500-4000 people, violated the rule of only 30 protestors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and around 700 vehicles had participated at the rally, even though permission was sought only for 40 due to the pandemic.
Vishwesh Negi, Minister (Political, Press & Information), Indian high commission in London said,”The developing situation was brought to the attention of the UK Foreign Office and Home Office. London Metropolitan Police managed, controlled, and eventually disposed off the crowds. We could see that a few violent offenders were arrested.”
Protestors had told the authorities while taking permission that they will be protesting against the new farm laws of India but Khalistani flags were seen at the protest site raising fears of anti-India elements behind the move.
“As expected, it soon became clear that the gathering was led by anti-India separatists who had taken the opportunity of the farmers protests in India to pursue their own anti-India agenda,” Negi explained.
Metropolitan police had also issued reminders, ahead of the protest to follow COVID-19 protocols. The High Commission had raised the concerns of the upcoming protest with the UK’s metropolitan police earlier.
While this is the first such protest this year in front of the Indian mission, last year saw 2 major protests in the aftermath of India removing special status for the erstwhile status of Jammu and Kashmir.
At that time, most of the protestors were from the Pakistani diaspora, many of whom tried to vandalize the Indian mission by breaking a window pane. The matter was discussed at the highest level with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising the matter with UK PM Boris Johnson, who assured that the incident will not be repeated.