London: Supporters of the Khalistan movement, a Sikh separatist movement seeking to create a sovereign state called Khalistan in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan, staged a protest outside the Indian High Commission in London, UK, on Monday. The protesters were met with a heavy police presence at the High Commission and were restricted to the opposite side of the building.
The protest comes after a recent incident in Scotland, where some Khalistani activists blocked the entry of the new Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami to a local Gurudwara. Doraiswami was on his way to attend a meeting of the Gurudwara Committee but was surrounded by a group of protesters who shouted slogans against India and accused him of being an agent of the Indian government.
The Indian government lodged a complaint with the British government over the incident and demanded strict action against the perpetrators. The Gurudwara where Doraiswami was prevented from entering also condemned the act and described it as a display of unruly behaviour meant to disrupt the peaceful proceedings of a Sikh place of worship. UK Indo-Pacific Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan called the incident worrying and said that the safety of foreign diplomats is of utmost importance and that places of worship in the UK must be open to all.
This is not the first time that Khalistani supporters have targeted the Indian High Commission in London. In March this year, Khalistani supporters attacked the Indian High Commission building and tried to hoist the flag of Khalistan after taking down the flag of India. The Indian government strongly reacted to this incident and called it an act of vandalism and disrespect to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.