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Met Justify Decision to Shift Kashmir Protest

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Mayor Andy Burnham with Prof JS Bamrah and Dr Kailash Chand

“My teams are working closely with the protest organisers and the staff at the High Commission of India to make sure that we are as well sighted on all the issues as possible,” Met Commander Matt Twist said in a letter addressed to Professor J S Bamrah CBE and Doctor Kailash Chand OBE

Metropolitan Police justify the decision to shift Kashmir protest organised by Pakistani organisations. In a letter to Indian community leaders, Met Commander Matt Twist says police are closely monitoring the situation.

“My teams are working closely with the protest organisers and the staff at the High Commission of India to make sure that we are as well sighted on all the issues as possible,” he said in a letter addressed to Professor J S Bamrah CBE and Doctor Kailash Chand OBE. They wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel to ban the march over the law and order issues. India House was attacked in two recent similar protest incidents.

“A robust policing plan will be in place,” he said in the letter regarding the protest march on October 27. “As part of this, we will take all necessary steps to ensure the security and integrity of the High Commission of India and the safety of those who work there or may seek to visit on the day. We will have a significant number of officers available to support this objective.

“The right to protest is an extremely important one, underpinned by articles 9, 10 and 11 of the European Convention, and any restrictions we seek to place on that must be both proportionate and necessary. It is clear there is nothing in the convention that permits crime or disorder to take place, and we will take steps to ensure that any offences (committed by any parties) are quickly dealt with.

Indians celebrating Independence Day near India House in Holborn

“The police have no powers to move the Kashmiri protest to another date as some have asked. It is extremely clear to me that the very high threshold set by s13 Public Order Act 1986, is nowhere near met in which a protest could be banned.

“In order to minimise serious disruption to the community the Met has imposed pre event conditions under s12 and s14 of the Public Order Act 1986 on the Pro Kashmiri procession and assembly. The effect of these conditions will be that the protest will start in Parliament Street, process along Whitehall and conclude in Trafalgar Square. These are iconic London locations, allowing good visibility of the protest, whilst preventing the serious disruption to London that would be caused if a large number of people blocked strategically important roads closer to the High Commission of India.

“My teams are working closely with the protest organisers and the staff at the High Commission of India to make sure that we are as well sighted on all the issues as possible, and that we can influence to ensure that all events pass off peacefully. We will work hard to ensure that we achieve the joint objectives of providing a proportionate policing response to the protest, whilst ensuring the security and dignity of the High Commission of India, which I do not believe are mutually exclusive.”

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Mayor Andy Burnham with Prof JS Bamrah and Dr Kailash Chand

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