Khalistan supporters staged a protest outside the Indian high commission in London for the second time in four days on March 22. However, the protesters were confronted by the local police and kept away from the high commission. Barricades, too, were put up to secure the building further.
Around 2,000 protesters waving Khalistan flags descended upon the Indian High Commission for a planned demonstration and hurled objects and chanted slogans amid a heightened security presence and barricades.
The Indian High Commission countered by unfurling an additional humongous tricolour on the roof of its building, which seemed to rile the protesters further who then hurled coloured flares and water bottles towards the mission building and at police officers and media covering the protest.
In the wake of the violent disorder by Khalistan flag-waving protesters on Sunday, there was a planned protest organised by groups such as the Federation of Sikh Organisations (FSO) and Sikh Youth Jathebandia outside the Indian mission in London today. The Metropolitan Police has indicated that it is aware of the planned demonstration and security measures are expected to be in place.
Meanwhile, barricades placed outside the UK envoy’s residence in New Delhi were removed, in an apparent tit-for-tat move by India for the March 19 incident outside its high commission in the British capital.
Additionally, on Sunday, a group of pro-Khalistan protesters made an attempt to set on fire India’s consulate in San Francisco. The incident is reported to have taken place around 4.20 am on Sunday, a portion of which was captured on the consulate’s CCTV.
It is believed that two bearded men wearing a cap, who remain unidentified so far, poured flammable material at the entrance of the Indian mission in San Francisco and tried to put the building on flame, sources told news agency PTI.
Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami hosted a diaspora briefing at India House on Monday evening and addressed the concerns of the community leaders following the attack that resulted in broken windows.
The Indian government has lodged a strong protest and called on the British authorities to ensure adequate security at the Indian High Commission, which has seen a very visible Metropolitan Police presence in the wake of the attack.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has declined to comment on the matter except pointing to the tweet of Foreign Office Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad, who had said the “UK government will always take the security of the Indian High Commission seriously.”
(With inputs from agencies)