Mon. Jun 5th, 2023

New Delhi: Ahead of the protest, more police officers and barricades were placed outside the Indian High Commission in London on Wednesday, in an effort to stop a recurrence of the vandalism that occurred three days before.

The move came shortly after police in New Delhi removed road barricades outside the British High Commission, in what some saw as a show of India’s displeasure with the breach in London.

Police officers, liaison officers, and patrol officers were seen on duty outside the India Place building in central London, where a massive Indian flag remained strung between windows following the incident on Sunday.

After the protest at the High Commission in Aldwych, where windows were broken and the Indian flag was taken down from the first-floor terrace by a protester before being rescued by an official, India summoned a top British diplomat in Delhi.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the senior diplomat was asked to explain “the complete absence of British security” as the crowd approached the building, carrying yellow “Khalistan” flags.

The rally was organised in response to a large manhunt in India for Amritpal Singh, a Khalistan supporter who has been on the run since Saturday. He assaulted a police station last month, accompanied by hundreds of armed supporters.

Senior British officials have stated that the UK government will take the security of the Indian High Commission “very seriously,” calling the devastation at the Indian mission “disgraceful” and “totally unacceptable.”

Delhi Police have removed barricades “that created hurdles” for commuters outside the British High Commission here but the security of the diplomatic mission remains intact, officials said on Wednesday. The move by Delhi Police has come days after the Indian tricolour at the country’s High Commission in London was pulled down by pro-Khalistan activists.

“The security arrangements outside the British High Commission here are intact. However, barricades placed on the pathway towards the commission that created hurdles for commuters have been removed,” a senior police officer told PTI.

When contacted, a spokesperson for the British High Commission said, We do not comment on security matters.” India on Sunday night summoned the British deputy high commissioner and demanded an explanation over the complete “absence of security” after videos of pulling down of the Indian flag at the Indian mission in London during a protest by pro-Khalistan elements emerged on social media.

(With PTI Inputs)

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