Pro-Khalistan protesters were kept behind police barricades outside the Indian High Commission in London this evening following the unprecedented vandalism of Sunday, when the Indian flag was pulled down and the windows of the building were broken. Following protests by India, the London Metropolitan Police have taken no chances, parking more than 20 buses near the India House and deploying mounted troops to patrol the streets.
Visuals from the spot showed a group of protesters, waving yellow Khalistan flags, raising slogans on the other side of the road. The giant Indian flag that draped the building remained in place. Inside, work carried on uninterrupted.
The extra security in London came shortly after the police in New Delhi removed traffic barricades outside the British High Commission, in a move interpreted by some as a demonstration of India’s displeasure with the breach in London. The police have explained the move as removal of barricades that were “creating hurdles” for commuters.
Late on Sunday evening, India summoned a senior British diplomat in Delhi to register its strong protest over the “complete absence of British security” as the crowd targeted the building, protesting against the crackdown on Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh and his group.
“An explanation was demanded for the complete absence of the British security that allowed these elements to enter the High Commission premises,” the foreign ministry had said.
The ministry also said that the UK Government is expected to “take immediate steps to identify, arrest and prosecute each one of those involved in the incident,” and put in place stringent measures to prevent a recurrence.
While British officials condemned the vandalism, calling it “disgraceful” and “completely unacceptable”, only one person was arrested by Scotland Yard over the incident. The person is now out on bail.
On Wednesday, another protest was held by pro-Khalistan groups who circulated invitations on WhatsApp. The Federation of Sikh Groups, which had signed some of the invitations, was unavailable for comment.