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Sunday, December 10, 2023

UK Foreign Secretary denounces violence against Indian High Commission


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New Delhi: UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has termed as “unacceptable” the acts of violence towards staff at the Indian High Commission by pro-Khalistani activists and said they will make the necessary changes in the security of the Indian High Commission to ensure the safety of the staff.

In a statement, he also said that the UK wants to build deeper ties with India for the future.

“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. The police investigation is ongoing and we are in close contact with the Indian High Commission in London and the Indian Government in New Delhi. We are working with the Metropolitan Police to review security at the Indian High Commission, and will make the changes needed to ensure the safety of its staff as we did for today’s demonstration.

“We will always take the security of the High Commission, and all foreign missions in the UK, extremely seriously, and prevent and robustly respond to incidents such as this.

“The UK-India relationship, driven by the deep personal connections between our two countries, is thriving. Our joint 2030 Roadmap guides our relationship and shows what we can achieve when we work together, creating new markets and jobs for the two countries and helping to tackle shared challenges. We want to build deeper ties between the UK and India for the future,” he said.

On Tuesday the London police enhanced security outside the Indian High Commission, including with mounted police. The strong security prevented a large group of pro-Khalistani protesters from coming near the Indian mission. The protesters were kept on the opposite side of the road, unlike two days ago when they vandalised the Indian High Commission premises and removed the Indian national flag.

The enhanced security for the Indian mission in London also came hours after the extra barricades and sand bags were removed outside the UK High Commission in New Delhi, including from outside the residence of the UK High Commissioner.

In another development on Tuesday, Indian High Commissioner in UK Vikram Doraiswami in a video message assured Indians who have relatives in Punjab not to believe the “sensationalist lies being circulated on social media”, following the police action to nab pro-Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh.

In a message to counter the disinformation around the developments in Punjab related to the action against the pro-Khalistani separatist group ‘Waris Punjab De’, the Indian High Commissioner said that India just hosted two G20 events in the holy city of Amritsar, one on Education from March 15-17 and one on Labour from March 19-20. Delegates from over 30 countries attended this.

“This underlines the fact that the situation for travel is normal and that visitors, including from the UK, are safe.

“Let me assure all our friends in the UK, especially brothers and sisters with relatives in Punjab, that there is no truth to sensationalist lies being circulated on social media. The situation in your ancestral homeland is not what it is being reported.

“The elected CM of the state and local police authorities have put out detailed information, including interviews on TV. Please watch these. Do not believe the small handful of people putting out fiction and disinformation.

“As before, our doors are open to talk to you to anyone with a genuine concern our hands are open and we hope yours are too,” he said.


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