Indian High Commission in UK vandalised


The Ministry of External Affairs termed the vandalism at London mission ‘unacceptable’ and demanded identification, arrest, and prosecution of those involved…reports Asian Lite News

The senior-most UK diplomat in New Delhi was summoned on Sunday night after the Indian High Commission in the United Kingdom was vandalised.

The senior-most UK diplomat in New Delhi was summoned late evening today to convey India’s strong protest at the actions taken by separatist and extremist elements against the Indian High Commission in London earlier in the day, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release on Sunday.

An explanation was demanded for the complete absence of British security that allowed these elements to enter the High Commission premises. British deputy high commissioner Christina Scott was reminded in this regard of the basic obligations of the UK Government under the Vienna Convention.

“India finds unacceptable the indifference of the UK Government to the security of Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in the UK,” the MEA press release said.

Demanding “immediate steps” from the UK Government, the official press release from the MEA said, “It is expected that the UK Government would take immediate steps to identify, arrest and prosecute each one of those involved in today’s incident, and put in place stringent measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.”

Meanwhile, British High Commissioner Alex Ellis condemned the attack on the Indian High Commission in the United Kingdom today. He condemned the “disgraceful acts” and called it totally unacceptable.

“I condemn the disgraceful acts today against the people and premises of the High Commission of India – totally unacceptable,” British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis tweeted.

The ministry demanded an explanation for “absence of security” at the high commission premises and said the UK government’s “indifference” to Indian diplomats and personnel was “unacceptable”.

UK’s Minister of State for Foreign Commonwealth & Development Affairs Lord Tariq Ahmed has tweeted that he was “appalled” by the attack on the Indian High Commission.

“Am appalled by today’s attack on the Indian High Commission in London. This is a completely unacceptable action against the integrity of the Mission and its staff. The UK Government will always take the security of the Indian High Commission seriously,” he has said.

Meanwhile, Bob Blackman, British politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Harrow East tweeted, “Disgraceful vandalism & disrespect to the flag of #India. My sympathies to the staff at the #IndianHighC Commission &  @Vdoraiswami in particular #JaiHind.”

1 held for vandalism

A man has been arrested after some pro-Khalistani groups vandalised the Indian High Commission in London and detached the Indian flag from the first-floor balcony of the building.

Media reports suggest that the man behind the Sunday protest was identified as UK-based asylum seeker Avtar Singh Khanda, whose father Kulwant Singh Khukrana was a terrorist of the Khalistan Liberation Force and is supplying funds through Gurmit Singh Bukanwala. It was Khanda who got the radical Sikh students in the UK organised for the Sunday protest.

Videos on social media showed a crowd waving yellow “Khalistan” banners and a man detach the Indian flag from the first-floor balcony of the building, the BBC reported.

Two security guards were injured in the violent protest and an investigation has been launched.

Reports said that crowd members were believed to be supporters of a Sikh separatist movement. Officers were called to the Indian High Commission at about 13:50 GMT on Sunday.

Upon arrival “the majority of those present had dispersed prior to the arrival of police”, Metropolitan Police (Met) said.

The force’s spokesperson said “windows were broken” and two members of security staff sustained minor injuries which did not require hospital treatment.

Responding to the incident, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said in a tweet: “I condemn the violent disorder and vandalism that took place at the Indian High Commission today (Sunday). There is no place in our city for this kind of behaviour.”

An investigation has been launched by the Met, he added.

The British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis described the incident as “disgraceful” and “totally unacceptable”.

In September 2019, the Indian high commission’s windows were smashed after a Kashmiri separatist march threw stones and eggs into the protests. India had then termed the incident “unacceptable” and urged the UK to provide adequate security to its officials and premises.

The Khalistan movement refers to the separatist movement that seeks a Sikh nation to be carved out of India called Khalistan. The Khalistan movement waged a bloody insurgency in India for decades, primarily in Punjab, before it finally ebbed in 1990s. Though the armed element ebbed by the ’90s, there exists strong support for the movement abroad, notably in the United Kingdom and Canada, that seeks to incite trouble in India.

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