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British Indian MP slams Home Office for failing to protect Indian Mission

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | March 24, 2023 03:30 PM

LONDON: British Indian MP Navendu Mishra has slammed the Home Office for failing to provide adequate protection to the Indian High Commission in London, which was targeted and vandalised by anti-India elements.

Expressing his support for India in a letter addressed to Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami, Mishra asked the UK government to address the lapse on Home Office's part urgently.

"The protest that turned into violence and vandalism was promoted on several social media platforms at least 24 hours beforehand and it is disappointing that the Home Office failed to ensure adequate protection," the Labour MP from Stockport wrote in the letter signed by six other lawmakers.

"All diplomatic missions, diplomats, staff and families are protected under the Vienna Convention. The failure of the Home Office to fulfil this obligation must be addressed by the government urgently."

Welcoming an investigation launched by the Metropolitan Police into the incident, Mishra and other MPs assured that they will continue to press the government to ensure protection for all diplomatic missions in Britain and respect international obligations.

"The ability to participate in peaceful protest, demonstrations and democratic debate are an important part of British tradition, but vandalism or violence against any person or institution is simply unacceptable," the letter read.

The co-signatories of the letter included MPs Mike Amesbury, Virendra Sharma, Tulip Siddiq and Gareth Thomas.

In a video address after the incident, Doraiswami said: "The situation for travel is normal and visitors, including from the UK, are safe. Let me assure all our friends here in the UK, especially brothers and sisters with relatives in Punjab that there is no truth to sensationalist lies being circulated on social media."

Condemning the incident, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said violence directed against the staff at the Indian High Commission is unacceptable, and the UK government will make sure that there is proper security.

The assurance came after pro-Khalistan backers protested outside the Indian High Commission for hours on Wednesday, throwing water bottles and smoke flares at the main entrance of the building.

The High Commission then retaliated with a bigger flag a day after March 19 vandalism, when the Tricolour was pulled down and the windows of the building were broken.


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