Home/ News / World/  UK to ensure Indian mission's staff safety in London amid pro-Khalistan protest

The United Kingdom will review security at the Indian High Commission in London following ‘unacceptable acts of violence’ towards the mission's staff, said British foreign minister James Cleverly on Wednesday. 

This came after India summoned the most senior British diplomat in New Delhi to protest at the actions taken by "separatist and extremist elements" against the country's mission in London, according to the news agency Reuters. 

Indian media and the BBC reported that protesters with "Khalistan" banners detached the Indian flag from the first-floor balcony of the diplomatic mission's building earlier, to protest against the recent police action in India's Punjab state. 

According to the BBC, crowds had gathered outside the high commission's building on Sunday and windows were broken, after which India demanded an explanation for the "complete absence of the British security" around the premises.

On Wednesday, the Indian daily The Hindu reported that at least a hundred police officers were standing guard on both sides of the road outside the High Commission in London on Wednesday.

Around 2,000 protesters waving Khalistan flags descended upon the Indian High Commission here on Wednesday for a planned demonstration and hurled objects and chanted slogans amid a heightened security presence and barricades.

The protesters were barricaded across the road with uniformed officers standing guard and patrolling the area throughout. They including turbaned men, and some women and children, had been bused in from different parts of the UK and chanted pro-Khalistan slogans.

The Indian High Commission in London has been working to counter disinformation circulating around developments in Punjab, related to enforcement action against the separatist group 'Waris Punjab De'.

Cleverly said that a police investigation was ongoing after the acts of violence and that the country will make the necessary changes to ensure the safety of the Indian mission's staff as it did for demonstrations on Wednesday, Reuters reported. 

Khalistan refers to an independent Sikh state sought by some groups but which does not exist.


(With Reuters inputs)

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Updated: 23 Mar 2023, 06:08 AM IST
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