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Sadiq puts onus on Priti to ban Pakistan sponsored protest march on 27

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Mayor Sadiq Khan during the We Are All Londoners campaign

Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel and Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick to address the issue. He said the onus on Priti Patel, the Indian-origin Home Secretary, also the former Indian Diaspora champion and an awardee of Bharatiya Pravasi Puraskar – the highest honour for an Indian-origin, to ban the protest march

 by . London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the move to organise a protest march near Indian Embassy at Holborn when the Indian community celebrates Diwali at prestigious Trafalgar Square.

The mayor in a letter to Navin Shah, London Assembly Member for Brent & Harrow, said:  I absolutely condemn the plans for a protest march to take place on the auspicious day of Diwali, in the vicinity of the Indian High Commission in London.

The relations between the Indian community and the Labour Party were strained after Pakistani sponsored protesters smashed antique windows of the heritage India House building at Holborn. The protesters even used smoke bombs to attack the Indian mission in London.

Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel and Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick to address the issue.

In a letter addressed to Navin Shah, Mayor Sadiq said the onus on Priti Patel, the Indian-origin Home Secretary, also the former Indian Diaspora champion and an awardee of Bharatiya Pravasi Puraskar – the highest honour for an Indian-origin, to ban the protest march.

Pakistani agencies are sponsoring coaches from various parts of Britain to muster support. Asian Lite receives several complaints about mosques were used to drum up support for the protest march.

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Navin Shah

“The power to ban marches of this nature lies solely with the Home Secretary (Priti Patel), not with me as the Mayor of London. I am copying this letter to both the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, so they can clearly see the full extent of my concerns about this march,” the mayor rote in the letter.

“I absolutely condemn the plans for a protest march to take place on the auspicious day of Diwali, in the vicinity of the Indian High Commission in London. This march will only deepen divisions at a time when Londoners need to come together. That is why I am calling on those organising the march and all those considering taking part in it to think again and cancel their plans. The right to protest is an important and valued part of our democracy, but it must always be done peacefully and within the law.”

“I understand why many British Indians are so deeply concerned. Many have felt deeply threatened and worried since the previous protests outside the Indian High Commission. I can assure all Londoners that anyone who acts unlawfully will be accountable to the police.”

“City Hall are working with the Metropolitan Police to ensure a robust policing plan is in place for this march to prevent a repeat of the totally unacceptable violence, aggression and hostility from some protestors during the Indian Independence Day celebrations and at subsequent protests outside the Indian High Commission in London. This behaviour goes against everything we stand for in London and has no place in the city. The Metropolitan Police are working closely with the Indian High Commission as part of their plan.

“I am grateful to you for raising these important matters. As Mayor, I will continue to do all I can to extend the hand of friendship to Londoners of Indian origin – who continue to make such an incredible contribution to our city. I want to ensure they always feel respected, valued and made to feel safe in London, and that London remains a welcoming place to people from India and around the world.”

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Navin Shah

 

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