‘Unacceptable Incident’: MEA on Indian HC Vandalism in London
A day after thousands of protestors from the 'Kashmir Freedom March' caused chaos on the streets of London on Tuesday, 3 September, smashing the windows of the Indian High Commission in the process, two people have been arrested by the police, according to news agency ANI.
"Another violent protest outside the Indian High Commission in London today, 3 September 2019. Damage caused to the premises," the Indian High Commission tweeted on Tuesday.
A Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said that India is deeply concerned by the reports of unruly demonstration by "Pakistan-incited elements" and the consequent organised vandalism of the property of the High Commission of India in London.
“This is the second time in a less than a month that such an incident has taken place affecting the security and the normal functioning of our Mission. We consider these incidents to be unacceptable and have strongly urged the Government of UK to take action against those involved, and take necessary steps to ensure the normal functioning of our Mission and the safety and security of our personnel.”MEA Spokesperson
The protestors, according to media reports, carried placards that read ‘Stop shelling Kashmir’, ‘End the siege’, and posters urging UN to act on Kashmir.
The march, according to Times of India, was led by Labour MP from Brimingham's Hodge Hill, Liam Byrne. "You can silence a parliament, but you cannot try and silence people. We will continue to protest on the streets of our cities and at the UN we have delivered justice for the people of Kashmir," he was quoted by the daily as saying.
Byrne is gathering names on a petition that he plans to hand to the House of Commons, calling on the UK government to make urgent representation to India through the commonwealth ad the UN to seek restoration of the special status of Kashmir, the TOI report said.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, also condemned the situation. "I utterly condemn this unacceptable behaviour and have raised this incident with the Metropolitan police to take action," he said, responding to the Indian High Commission tweet.
Condemning the attack, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that any violence against the British Indians or any other community in the United Kingdom is ''deplorable''.
Addressing the Parliament, Raab said, "It is absolutely right that any violence is deplorable. It shouldn't be conducted in this country, or anywhere else for that matter, at any individual communities. What we now need to do is try and reduce those tensions but also, on a positive side, build up confidence building measures to allow proper dialogue between the communities in Kashmir and also between India and Pakistan."