By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2023-03-20 06:30:02
In a disgraceful incident coming close on the heels of the Punjab Police crackdown against Waris Punjab De, an organization that openly supports Khalistan, and its chief Amritpal Singh, Khalistani supporters climbed up the balcony of the Indian High Commission in London on Sunday and tried to pull down the Indian flag. They were carrying yellow coloured flags with Khalistan written on them. India has lodged a strong protest with the UK government and has also summoned the highest ranking official in the UK High Commission in Delhi. Reports suggest that British guards were absent from duty despite the protest. Scotland Yard is aware of the incident but is yet to issue an official statement. British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, who was not in Delhi,strongly condemned the incident which he called "disgraceful" and "totally unacceptable".
It is surprising that despite the fact that miscreants were attacking Indian missions, temples and Gandhi statues in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, Scotland Yard did not think fit to beef up security at the Indian High Commission. It is not a secret that whenever police in India move against Khalistani sympathisers in Punjab, their supporters abroad protest before Indian missions, especially in the UK and Canada. Hence, the Indian government should have also requested additional security as the Punjab Police were moving to arrest Amritpal Singh. When the protests started on Sunday, measures should have been taken to prevent the situation from getting out of hand. The UK government has a lot to explain why British security was missing. Now, with videos of the incident going viral, the least that the Scotland Yard can do is to identify and arrest the miscreants (an investigation has already been launched) and punish them as per law. It must also ensure that such incidents do not happen in future.
Lead picture courtesy: screengrab from video uploaded by ANI