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August 15, 2020

Indian bodies seek ban on protests outside Indian mission

World

August 15, 2020

LONDON: Over 100 British Indian organisations have asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stop protesters from demonstrating outside the Indian High Commission ahead of a planned “Black Day” rally on 15 August by Sikhs and Kashmiris.

The letter to Johnson has been signed by 102 Indian organisations. The letter, dated 12 August and signed on a letterhead of “Indian Diaspora UK”, claimed that every year on India’s independence day, “Khalistani protesters” demonstrate outside the Indian High Commission “which makes it difficult for Indians to celebrate their Independence Day”.

The letter also claimed that the “violence has been going a step further” and urged Johnson to “take note of the situation” and “stop such protests especially at locations such as India House i.e. High Commission of India, London”.

Letters were sent to Home Secretary Priti Patel, Mayor of London and the Commissioner for Metropolitan Police Service, London. The letter to Patel says: “We are approaching you in advance to request you to take appropriate measures and avoid violent protests outside the Indian High Commission building on that day. Last year the staff, family members and guests at the High Commission experienced unacceptable levels of violence, aggression and hostility during the celebrations outside.”

The Indian High Commission became the centre of protests by thousands of people a year ago in the wake of India revoking occupied Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and then over the Citizenship Amendment Act. These protests were attended by scores of people.