Indian PM complains to Boris Johnson of 'violence' after protests at Indian Embassy in London
By Barfi Culture Team
21st August 2019

The Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has complained to Boris Johnson about "violence and vandalism" after scuffles broke out during a protest outside the Indian High Commission over the weekend.

A summary of the conversation was released by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs this morning.

The relevant bit stated: "Prime Minister Modi also drew attention to the challenges posed by vested interests pursuing their motivated agenda, including by violent means."

It continued: "In this context he referred to the violence and vandalism perpetrated by a large mob against the High Commission of India in London on the last Independence Day of India. Prime Minister Johnson regretted the incident and assured that all necessary steps would be taken to ensure safety and security of the High Commission, its personnel and visitors."

As Barfi Culture earlier reported, London's Met Police arrested four men during the protests, and confiscated one Sikh kirpan. All men have now been released.

At the event some Indians had gathered to celebrate and remember India's independence. But they were vastly outnumbered by protesters who called for the independence of Kashmir and Panjab.

A journalist from the Times of India said protesters hurled eggs, smoke bombs, potatoes and water bottles at the pro-India side.

But the Met Police said the protest was "largely peaceful".

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "The Mayor supports the right to protest when it is peaceful and lawful," and condemned any violence. Some on social media claimed Khan had looked the other way and allowed the violence to escalate, but the Mayor of London has no power to stop protests. Only the Home Secretary does.

Protesters say they had the right to make their voices heard about human rights abuses in India.

A protester told Barfi Culture the police were violent towards them before the scuffles broke out. "They tried to kettle the protesters as the counter-protest (in support of India) was surrounded on both sides."

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