After Tuesday Protests U.K. Foreign Secretary Seeks to Assure India on Security

2,000 protesters waving Khalistan flags descended upon the Indian mission here on March 22 for a planned demonstration and hurled objects and chanted slogans amid a heightened security presence and barricades

March 23, 2023 02:14 pm | Updated 08:44 pm IST - London

Police officers push back pro-Khalistan protestors outside of the Indian High Commission in London on March 22, 2023.

Police officers push back pro-Khalistan protestors outside of the Indian High Commission in London on March 22, 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, on Tuesday, sought to allay security concerns of the Indian High Commission on a day when pro-Khalistan protesters, held a demonstration across India House, home of the High Commission in London. Mr. Cleverly said he was in touch with the High Commission in London and the government in New Delhi on the matter.

“Acts of violence towards staff at the Indian High Commission in London are unacceptable and I have made our position clear to the High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami,” Mr. Cleverly said, adding that the U.K. government was working with the Metropolitan Police and would “make the changes needed to ensure the safety of its staff as we did for today’s demonstration”.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly responded to the attack on Indian High Commission and called the attack by the Khalistani elements “unacceptable” in a statement on Thursday.

Dozens of police officers had guarded the High Commission on Tuesday and managed the protestors, who tried breaking the cordon, threw water bottles, flares and ink balloons across the road at the premises and the officers.

Protesters had taken down the national flag from the front of India House on Sunday, with the government accusing the U.K. authorities of “ indifference” and retaliating by lowering protection for the residence of the British High Commissioner to India in New Delhi.

In Tuesday’s statement, Mr. Cleverly said the U.K. would always take the security of the High Commission and other missions “extremely seriously” and said the U.K.-India relationship was “thriving” .

“We want to build deeper ties between the U.K. and India for the future,” he said.

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