Indian student, Satyam Surana, who tried to protect the Indian flag during the Khalistani protest in front of the Indian High Commission in London on Monday, October 2, 2023, said he had never seen the Indian flag being demeaned this way, his conscious persuaded him to protect the tricolour.
Satyam, a student at the London School of Economics, said: "I saw the Indian flag was being demeaned, went behind the police lady who had stepped on the flag intentionally. I picked up the flag and I just moved away then."
"I had never seen the Indian flag being demeaned this way. My inner self, my mind, my conscience were shocked to see how this could happen. That's what motivated, persuaded me to go forward and do what I did," he said.
On Gandhi Jayanthi day, Khalistani protestors were cordoned off on either side of the street from the Indian High Commission in London. However, a group of protestors breached the barricades and crossed over to the side of the HCI with an Indian flag and a bottle of what they called 'cow urine'.
Khalistan supporters claimed that they were staging the protest over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.Nijjar, a designated terrorist in India, who was killed outside a gurdwara in Canada's Surrey on June 18. One of the protestors gave an anti-India and anti-Sunak speech standing in front of the HCI London and then threw the Indian flag on the ground.
Satyam was standing near the scene. He leapt forward as soon as the Khalistanis moved and picked up the Indian flag from the street. Some of the Khalistanis got agitated by this act and started cursing him. Metropolitan police officers present at the scene in their bid to neutralise the situation and protect Satyam, safely nudged him out of the place.
Satyam's video where he is seen picking up the Indian flag from the ground went viral when former Advisor to UK Government Colin Bloom posted a video of the whole incident on his X handle.
Satyam said: "So, there was a protest going on outside the Indian High Commission and when I went to see what was going on, I realised it was a protest by the pro-Khalistan group and these people were giving their slogans and the protest was going on."
‘Insult to the tricolour’
"I saw some people were going around with the national flag in their leg and there was a heavy amount of demeaning and insult that was intended towards the Indian national flag so that's why I stayed back and was looking at the entire protest," he added.
He said that after some time, some people walked towards the Indian High Commission with the flag in their hand and the group started putting the flag on the ground and desecrating it. He then followed his instinct and saved the flag.Satyam further said that though his parents are worried about his safety, they are happy about what he did.
"All of my friends are very proud, super proud. I am telling them that I have just exercised my duty as an Indian citizen and I just did what my conscience has told me. I would never pull a leg back when I get to serve my nation or to protect its dignity," he said.
The protest by the Khalistan supporters came days after the planned interaction of Indian High Commissioner to Britain Vikram Doraiswami by the Gurudwara Committee in Glasgow was deliberately disrupted by three persons- all from areas outside Scotland.
The Indian High Commission in London issued a statement on September 30and said the interaction was to discuss community and consular issues."On September 29, 2023, three persons- all from areas outside Scotland-deliberately disrupted a planned interaction organised by the Gurudwara Committee for the community, the High Commissioner and the Consul General of India. The organisers included senior community leaders, ladies and Committee members, and a member of the Scottish Parliament," the statement said."
They were threatened and abused by these elements. In an effort to prevent any potential altercation, the HC and CG decided to leave the premises shortly upon their arrival," it added.
The Indian High Commission said it reported the incident to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Metropolitan Police.It said multiple community organisations, including the organisers, have formally regretted the incident and have urged the authorities to take action against the culprits.