“I condemn the disgraceful acts today"
India has lodged a formal complaint with the British High Commission in Delhi following a protest at its embassy in London.
On March 19, 2023, windows were smashed outside the building in Westminster and one pulled down the Indian flag.
Two security guards sustained minor injuries as police rushed to the building to calm down the situation.
One man was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.
Social media videos showed a man lowering the Indian flag from the first-floor balcony. A crowd appeared to encourage him while waving yellow ‘Khalistan’ banners.
The protestors are believed to be supporters of the Khalistan movement, a Sikh separatist movement seeking to create a homeland for Sikhs by establishing a sovereign state.
This is the United Kingdom of 2023 where terrorists openly come on the streets to attack and disrespect the #Indian flag right in the heart of #London. This is not just an attack on the Indian Embassy but on #India. pic.twitter.com/XsUa5Gtcco
— Meru (@MeruBhaiya) March 19, 2023
The Indian Embassy gave a befitting reply to the protestors by displaying a huge national flag on the side of the building.
India has summoned the British Deputy High Commisioner and demanded an explanation for the “complete absence of security that allowed these elements to enter the High Commission premises”.
Alex Ellis, the British High Commissioner to New Delhi, condemned the events that unfolded.
He tweeted: “I condemn the disgraceful acts today against the people and premises of the @HCI_London – totally unacceptable.”
The Met Police has launched an investigation into the incident.
A spokesperson said: “Windows were broken at the High Commission building.
“Two members of security staff sustained injuries. These are believed to be minor, they did not require hospital treatment.
“Officers attended the location. The majority of those present had dispersed prior to the arrival of police.
“An investigation was launched, and one male was arrested nearby a short time later on suspicion of violent disorder. Inquiries continue.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the incident. He said:
“I condemn the violent disorder and vandalism that took place at the Indian High Commission today.
“There is no place in our city for this kind of behaviour.”
“An investigation has been launched by the Met into today’s events.”
Foreign Office minister Lord Ahmad wrote: “Am appalled by today’s attack on the Indian High Commission in London.
“This is a completely unacceptable action against the integrity of the Mission and its staff.
“The UK Government will always take the security of the Indian High Commission seriously.”
Indian embassies and establishments have increasingly come under attack in recent times by Khalistan supporters.
There have been incidents in the United States, Australia and Italy.