New Delhi, March 19
India summoned a senior UK diplomat to the Foreign Office late on Sunday evening and sought an explanation for the complete absence of the British security that allowed separatist and extremist elements to enter the Indian High Commission earlier in the day and replace the Tricolour with the Khalistani flag.
India told the second most senior diplomat at the UK High Commission that the UK Government’s “indifference” to the security of Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in the country was “unacceptable”.
In a statement, Ministry of External Affairs said the UK Government was expected to 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.
India lodges strong protest with UK.— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) March 19, 2023
Press Release ➡️ https://t.co/Apz9tgy1Ki pic.twitter.com/PV2VyUw1Lt
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 and fugitive Amritpal Singh.
The UK High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis, who was not in the town, condemned the incident as “disgraceful”.
“I condemn the disgraceful acts today against the people and premises of the Indian High Commission in London as totally unacceptable,” he tweeted.
I condemn the disgraceful acts today against the people and premises of the @HCI_London - totally unacceptable.— Alex Ellis (@AlexWEllis) March 19, 2023
The incident is the latest in a spate of attacks on Indian missions, temples and Gandhi statues in the UK, Canada, the US and Australia.
On March 10, PM Narendra Modi had said, “It is unfortunate that over the last few weeks we have been receiving regular news of attacks on temples in Australia.” In the UK, aggressive demonstrations before the High Commission in 2019 against the lockdown in Kashmir and CAA/NRC had prompted PM Modi to speak to then UK PM Boris Johnson over providing adequatesecurity to Indiandiplomaticpremises.
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