India has asked the United Kingdom to ensure adequate security for its High Commission staff and property in London on its Republic Day on 26 January when some Pakistani and ‘Khalistani’ groups plan to organise a rally outside the mission to protest the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir.
Indian High Commissioner to the UK Ruchi Ghanashyam met British Home Secretary Priti Patel on Tuesday and conveyed her security concerns in view of the planned protests. ”Our High Commissioner has conveyed our security and safety concerns flowing from planned protests, including on the Republic Day at the India House in London, to the British authorities in no uncertain manner,” sources here said.
New Delhi is concerned that around 5,000 protesters could gather outside the Indian mission on the Republic Day and indulge in violence.
The Tehreek-e-Kashmir (TeK), an organistaion aligned to Pakistan, has given a call for protests outside the Indian mission to condemn India’s decision to scrap Article 370 in J&K. ”India has no moral right to observe 26 January as the Republic Day when it has turned the valley of 8 million people into jail,” TeK President Raja Fahim Kayani was quoted as saying. The World Sikh Parliament (WSP), an anti-India group, meanwhile, has announced that it would back the protests being organised outside the Indian High Commission.
The UK authorities have said they will review the security arrangements closer to the protest day after being prodded by Indian diplomats in London. The office of the mayor of London was quoted as saying that the power to ban marches lay with the Home Secretary. However, the mayor was deeply upset over the violence, aggression, and hostility witnessed at the Indian mission on India’s Independence Day on 15 August last year when protesters turned violent and vandalised property.