Deport Khalistan elements: National Security Adviser Ajit Doval tells U.K. counterpart Tim Barrow

India urges the U.K. to act against pro-Khalistan elements who have threatened Indian officials

July 07, 2023 07:26 pm | Updated 10:28 pm IST - NEW DELHI

National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and his U.K. counterpart Tim Barrow during a meeting, in New Delhi, on July 7, 2023.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and his U.K. counterpart Tim Barrow during a meeting, in New Delhi, on July 7, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly gave assurance of safety for Indian diplomats in his country, India on July 7 urged the U.K. to act against pro-Khalistan elements who have threatened Indian officials.

The discussion in this regard took place at the Hyderabad House between the two delegations led by the visiting National Security Adviser of U.K. Sir Tim Barrow and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval. The discussion came a day ahead of the expected pro-Khalistan rally that drew India’s attention as publicity materials for the event threatened to harm Indian diplomats in the U.K., Canada and other countries. 

“The Indian side raised the issue of the extremist elements in U.K. threatening individual officers of the Indian High Commission and urged the U.K. government to take strong public action against these elements such as deportation or legal prosecution,” said an informed source explaining that India and the U.K. have agreed to “work closely” on counterterrorism, terror financing and counter-radicalisation. 

“There can be no justification for violent extremism and radicalisation in a democracy,” said the source familiar with the discussion that came a day after Mr. Cleverly’s assurance regarding safety of Indian diplomats within the U.K.

Also read | Report asks U.K. government to investigate Khalistani extremism

“Any direct attacks on the Indian High Commission in London are completely unacceptable. We have made clear to High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami and the Government of India that the safety of staff at the High Commission is paramount,” Mr. Cleverly said in a social media post on Thursday. The issue has gathered momentum in the backdrop of pro-Khalistan rallies that are expected to take place in major western cities like London, Toronto, San Francisco and Melbourne. Campaign for the July 8 rallies drew official attention here after publicity materials circulated both offline and online singled out leading Indian diplomats in the U.K., U.S., Canada and Australia as targets and called for pro-Khalistan activists to avenge the June 18 murder of Khalistan proponent Hardeep Singh Nijjar near Vancouver. 

The posters for the rally came up during an official briefing on Thursday when the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi condemned the threats against Indian diplomats and Indian diplomatic premises in the “strongest” manner. Security for the Indian High Commission came into sharp focus on March 19 when the Indian Tricolour was pulled down from balcony by pro-Khalistan activists. Three days after that incident India reduced security near the residence of the High Commissioner of the U.K. Alex Ellis and the British High Commission. A pro-India rally was organised near the addresses soon thereafter that was however dealt with carefully by the law enforcement agencies here. 

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