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Kashmir protest in UK

Pakistani demonstrators festooned Gandhi’s statue in Parliament Square with Pakistani Kashmiri flags

By PTI in London

  • Published 5.09.19, 3:27 AM
  • Updated 5.09.19, 3:27 AM
Under British law, peaceful demonstrations are allowed
Under British law, peaceful demonstrations are allowed AP

Pakistani demonstrators who arrived by the coach-load from Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford and other cities on Tuesday laid siege to the Indian high commission building in London.

The demonstrators, who appeared well organised, also festooned Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Parliament Square with Pakistani Kashmiri flags.

Under British law, peaceful demonstrations are allowed.

The Indian mission issued a picture of an egg-splattered broken window and said on Twitter: “Another violent protest outside the Indian High Commission in London today, 3 September 2019. Damage caused to the premises.”

One of the leaders of the protest was identified by the Birmingham Mail: “Inam Ul Haq, 50, of Birmingham, who helped organise the demonstration, said protesters were demanding for the Indian government to lift the curfew imposed on the Kashmir state.”

The violence was condemned by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who tweeted: “I utterly condemn this unacceptable behaviour and have raised this incident with @metpoliceuk to take action.”

In New Delhi, the external affairs ministry spokesman said: “We are deeply concerned by the reports of unruly demonstration by Pakistan-incited elements and consequent organised vandalism of the property of the High Commission of India in London. This is the second time in less than a month that such an incident has taken place affecting the security and the normal functioning of our mission.”

After a smaller protest on August 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the violence with his British counterpart Boris Johnson.

On Wednesday, the UK government described the protests as “largely peaceful” and said the safety of the Indian mission was not compromised.

While the UK holds that the Kashmir dispute is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, it said on Tuesday that the issue of human rights was not a “bilateral” or a “domestic” issue but an “international issue”.