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Suspected Tamil protesters behead Nehru statue in London

Protesting Sri Lankan Tamils are being blamed for beheading the statue of Jawaharlal Nehru outside India House in London.

Written by Shyam Bhatia | London |
April 10, 2009 12:57:59 pm

Protesting Sri Lankan Tamils are being blamed for beheading the statue of Jawaharlal Nehru outside India House in London.

Indian diplomats were informed of the statue’s desecration when they arrived at the premises of the High Commission in Aldwych this morning. The remains of the statue have been bound in a white sheet and are visible for all to see.

When contacted,India’s High Commissioner to UK Shiv Shankar Mukherjee said: “The statue has been damaged and the police are investigating. The police were there at night and they are on the job.”

Said Minister in charge of information at the High Commission,M. Subashini: “All we know is that the statue is broken,not how it broke.”

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said he was not aware of any formal complaint from the High Commission but said,“Any criminal damage will be investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted.”

Those who carried out the beheading were clearly tech savvy because CCTV cameras trained on the statue were turned skywards and away from the statue,so that there is no record of who was responsible.

Earlier yesterday,the High Commission was besieged by Tamil protesters belonging to a group that calls itself “Campaign to end the war and fight for democracy in Sri Lanka.”

A leaflet distributed by the group says: “Not a rupee,not a bullet for the war-mongering Rajpakse regime.” It adds,“Indian government — blood on your hands.”

The demands of the demonstrators include calling for an immediate end to the military operations and withdrawal of the Sri Lankan Army from all Tamil areas. They also call for an immediate closure of detention camps and an “immediate end to military and commercial support for Sri Lanka by western imperialism and by India.”

The LTTE is banned in the UK,as is the public display of the LTTE flag. But the flag was clearly visible outside the House of Commons this week where another group of demonstrators have been holding what amounts to a 24-hour vigil outside the British Parliament.

Many of those participating in the vigil,as well as the demonstration outside India House,are believed to be from the estimated 250,000 Tamils who live in the Greater London area.

Said Indian origin MP Virendra Sharma,who represents the London constituency of Southall: “Whoever has done this is a disgrace.”

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