Tricolour disrespected: India lodges strong protest with UK

Khalistani group takes down Indian tricolour outside Indian high commission; India summons seniormost UK diplomat in New Delhi

NEW DELHI | Updated: 20 March, 2023 2:29 am IST
Rattled by the Punjab Police's action against radical preacher Amritpal Singh, pro Khalistani extremists attack the Indian High Commission in the UK 

India has lodged a strong protest with the United Kingdom after a group of pro-Khalistan separatists and extremist elements attacked the Indian High Commission in London. The group also pulled down the Indian tricolour outside the High Commission.

In New Delhi, deputy high commissioner Christina Scott was summoned by the government as India launched a strong protest at the actions taken by separatist and extremist elements against the Indian High Commission in London.

It also sought an explanation for the complete absence of British security that allowed the attackers to enter the High Commission premises. Scott was also reminded 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 Ministry of External Affairs 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,” MEA added.

The Indian government lodged a strong protest with the UK government

 

On Sunday, March 19, a group of pro-Khalistani supporters attacked the Indian High Commission in London. The mob also took down the Indian national flag.

The incident happened on a hectic day when the Punjab Police were hot on the heels of the chief of the pro-Khalistani Waris Punjab De (WPD), Amritpal Singh.

On Saturday, Punjab Police launched a massive crackdown on WPD after the outfit attacked the Ajnala police station in the Amritsar district.

Amritpal Singh and his henchmen, brandishing swords, stormed the police station, demanding the release of one of his key aides, Lovepreet Singh Tufan, who was arrested in a kidnapping case.

At least six policemen were injured in the attack as WPD supporters, led by their radical preacher Amritpal Singh, attacked them.

In videos shared on social media, the “separatist and extremist elements” were heard raising ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ slogans on the High Commission premises. They also raised anti-India slogans while holding up a poster of Khalistani sympathiser Amritpal Singh.

Videos show these men with yellow flags of Khalistan vandalising the Indian High Commission office in London. They also took down the Indian tricolour and raised the Khalistani flag.

Meanwhile, the UK High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, condemned the incident as “disgraceful” and “totally unacceptable”.

“I condemn the disgraceful acts today against the people and premises of the Indian High Commission in London as totally unacceptable,” Ellis, who was not in town, tweeted.

 

Incidentally, the Indian consulate in Brisbane, Australia, had to be briefly closed a few days ago following the threat posed by Khalistani extremists. Earlier, in February, too, Khalistani protestors targetted the Indian consulate in Brisbane.

Khalistan supporters also vandalised two Hindu temples on the day of Mahashivratri in Australia.

Before that, in January, Khalistani supporters were reported to have vandalised the historic Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in the Carrum Downs suburb of Melbourne.

Recently, PM Narendra Modi raised his concerns about attacks by extremist groups during his meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The Australian premier assured that his country would not tolerate extremist actions or attacks on religious buildings. He emphasised that such behaviour against Hindu temples has no place in Australia.

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