The presence of Nepalese protesters on the streets of London during PM Narendra Modi’s visit has taken the visiting Indian delegation by surprise. The PMO has asked for a report from Indian High Commission on the scale of the protests and their influence in British society, sources told The Indian Express.
As Modi came out of 10 Downing Street Thursday, the protesters shouted slogans. They were within audible distance from where Modi and British PM Cameron were garlanding a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at London square. NSA Ajit Doval was seen trying to gauge the protesters, who shouted “Back Off India” and held placards saying “remove blockade”. The protesters criticised UK for ‘rolling out the red carpet’ for Modi, and said Cameron should pressure him to stop blockading roads to Nepal.
“While protesters on Gujarat riots and Sikh groups were expected, what surprised us were Nepalese protesters. The High Commission will send a report,” a source said.
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The India-UK joint statement made a reference to India-Nepal ties, saying the two PMs “stressed the importance of a lasting and inclusive constitutional settlement in Nepal that will address the remaining areas of concern and promote political stability and economic growth”. The two countries also decided to deepen their cooperation in the region by holding a “new annual senior official dialogue on South Asia, including maritime issues”.