Saturday, February 24, 2024

UK to respond ‘robustly’ against attack on Indian High Commission: Foreign Secy

Date:

London: The UK will review the security at the Indian High Commission here following “unacceptable” acts of violence by pro-Khalistan protesters, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has said, asserting that the government takes these matters “very seriously” and would “robustly” respond to such incidents.

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

Unlike the violent disorder on Sunday when the India House came under attack, the protesters were barricaded across the road with uniformed officers standing guard and patrolling the area throughout.

The protesters, including turbaned men, and some women and children, had been bussed in from different parts of the UK and chanted pro-Khalistan slogans.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Foreign Secretary Cleverly said the British government takes such matters very seriously and would “robustly” respond to the attack as it works with the Metropolitan Police to make changes needed to ensure the security of the mission’s staff.

As a sign of the action already taken, the minister cited the heightened security measures in place at India House for a planned demonstration on Wednesday, which included several police officers standing guard outside the building, as well as many mounted officers on horseback patrolling the area along with helicopter surveillance.

“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,” Cleverly said.

He said the police investigation is ongoing and the government is 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,” he said.

“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,” he noted.

The minister observed the “thriving” India-UK relationship, driven by the deep personal connections between our two countries.

“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,” Cleverly added.

The statement follows the Indian government’s strong protest over the lack of adequate security measures at its mission in London.

PTI

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