Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami, hosted a diaspora briefing on Monday (20) evening to address the concerns of community leaders following the attack
By: Kimberly Rodrigues
Several groups representing the Indian diaspora organised a demonstration called “We Stand By High Commission of India” outside India House in London on Tuesday (21). This was in response to an act of vandalism carried out by Khalistani extremists over the weekend, which resulted in broken windows at the premises.
Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami, hosted a diaspora briefing on Monday (20) evening to address the concerns of community leaders following the attack. During the briefing, he expressed his appreciation for their support and solidarity.
The attack involved an attempted removal of the Indian tricolour, which was intercepted by an official. In response, an additional larger ‘Tiranga’ (Indian tricolour) was put up on the main facade. The Indian High Commission tweeted their appreciation for the solidarity shown by the diaspora following the attack.
The Metropolitan Police stated that their investigations are ongoing and that an individual who was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder has been released on bail and is due to appear in court in mid-June.
Following Tuesday’s (21) solidarity meet, Friends of India Society International (FISI) UK, one of the groups involved, expressed their deep shock at the “disgraceful and abominable act” of the desecration of the Indian flag by extremist elements, which has deeply affected the Indian diaspora.
“We are equally shocked to see the failure of the UK government to take preventive measures to prohibit such shameful incidents that endanger the Indian diplomatic officials,” said FISI UK.
Following the violent protest outside the Indian mission in London last weekend, according to reports, India has begun reducing security measures outside the British high commission and the envoy’s apartment, starting on Wednesday (22).
The Indian side has requested a clarification for the complete lack of British security measures that allowed pro-Khalistan individuals to enter the mission grounds. They have also urged the UK government to promptly take steps to identify, arrest, and penalise all those involved in the Sunday (19) demonstration.
The Indian government has also reminded the UK of its obligations under the Vienna Convention and asked for “stringent steps” to be implemented to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
FISI UK expressed surprise at the UK government’s failure to take preventive measures against the incident that put Indian diplomatic officials in danger.
According to FISI the Indian flag was recovered by an Indian High Commission official due to a lack of adequate security. The National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK, along with other groups, also condemned the vandalism.
(With inputs from PTI)