This move is seen by political analysts as a response to the UK police’s failure to prevent a violent protest by Khalistanis in London
By: Kimberly Rodrigues
The security measures outside the British high commission and the high commissioner’s residence in New Delhi have been relaxed, as the typical yellow metal barriers have been removed.
This move is seen by political analysts as a response to the UK police’s failure to prevent a violent protest by Khalistanis in London. During the demonstration, the protesters caused damage to the Indian mission and brought down the Indian flag.
According to Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr, a columnist for the Indian Tribune, this decision appears to be an act of retaliation by the Narendra Modi government, which is known for its muscular diplomacy approach.
The demonstrators expressed their fury regarding the search for Amritpal Singh Sandhu, a self-proclaimed Sikh preacher, in India. Since Saturday, the Punjab police have been combing the state to locate Sandhu, who promotes the idea of a distinct Sikh nation.
New Delhi believed that the police in London had failed to take sufficient action in preventing the Khalistani protesters from approaching the Indian high commission in Aldwych.
Although the protest has continued this week, the police have kept the demonstrators across the street from the Indian mission.
On Wednesday (22), the Indian personnel inside the London mission taunted the protesters outside by unfurling a massive Indian flag, which was bigger than the one that the protesters had previously taken down.
Following the incident, India’s ministry of external affairs summoned the British deputy high commissioner on Sunday (19) to clarify the inadequate security measures. In a statement, the ministry stated that “India finds unacceptable the indifference of the UK government to the security of Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in the UK”.
The British high commission declined to provide a statement regarding security-related issues. In London, the Sikh protesters are demonstrating against the crackdown on Sandhu in Punjab. The police are seeking to arrest him on charges of abduction, inciting violence, and disrupting social harmony.
Despite launching a search for him on Saturday, Sandhu has managed to evade capture. And though he’s being caught on CCTV in various vehicles and disguises, he remains elusive.
Media commentators are waiting to see whether India will also decrease security measures at the US embassy in New Delhi since in San Francisco too, Sikhs staged a comparable demonstration outside the Indian consulate on Sunday (19) during which they breached barricades and shattered windows.