India on Wednesday raised strong objections against the violent protests outside the Indian High Commission (IHC) in London over the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The protesters had vandalised and damaged windows of the building.
Calling the incident “unacceptable,” the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said, “This is the second time in less than a month that such an incident has taken place affecting security and normal functioning of our Mission. We consider these incidents to be unacceptable and have strongly urged Govt of UK to take action against those involved. And take the necessary steps to ensure the normal functioning of our mission and the safety and security of our personnel,” news agency ANI reported.
The ‘Kashmir Freedom March’ began at Parliament Square on Tuesday and moved towards India House, with protesters waving anti-India placards and chanting slogans such as ‘Azadi’ and ‘Stop Shelling in Kashmir’. Two people were arrested in connection with the violence outside the IHC.
This is the second time violent protests have taken place outside the IHC building in London over the Kashmir issue. Earlier, clashes had taken place on the Independence Day on August 15.
“Another violent protest outside the Indian High Commission in London today, 3 September 2019. Damage caused to the premises,” the commission wrote on Twitter, sharing the picture of the broken window.
Condemning the violence, London Mayor Sadiq Khan called it “unacceptable.” “I utterly condemn this unacceptable behaviour and have raised this incident with @metpoliceuk to take action,” he tweeted in response to the IHC’s tweet.
On August 15, the Independence Day celebrations by the Indian diaspora in London were disrupted by protesters who hurled stones and eggs on the embassy building and the Indians gathered outside.
A UK Opposition Labour Party MP from Birmingham, Liam Byrne, has launched an online petition over the Kashmir issue and was among the politicians backing Tuesday’s protests. “Today thousands of people marched from Downing Street to the Indian High Commission to send a clear message to Modi – you cannot silence the people of Kashmir,” he said.
Condemning the attack, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that any violence against the British Indians or any other community in the United Kingdom is “deplorable”. Highlighting that members of the Indian diaspora were attacked by “another community,” Raab said, “…Any violence is deplorable. It shouldn’t be conducted in this country, or anywhere else for that matter, at any individual communities. What we now need to do is try and reduce those tensions but also, on a positive side, build up confidence-building measures to allow proper dialogue between the communities in Kashmir and also between India and Pakistan.”
The London police arrested four people for the clashes on August 15, news agency ANI reported.