After scuffles break outside the Indian High Commission in London, Indian media loses its mind
by Barfi Culture Team
11th March 2019
A protest outside the Indian High Commission on Saturday nearly turned into something much uglier after clashes between opponents and supporters of the Indian government.

The clashes forced London's Metropolitan Police to call for backup. Pakistani media claimed one of its journalists, Farid Qureshi from ARY News, was assaulted by India supporters, while the Indian media claimed it was all a Pakistani intelligence operation.

The protest had been organised by British Sikh groups, angry over a case in India last month.

In that incident, three young Sikh men had been sentenced to life-imprisonment merely for their Facebook posts rather than inciting violence or possession of terrorist-related material.

Shamsher Singh, one of the key organisers at the National Sikh Youth Federation, was at the protest.

He told Barfi Culture: "We joined this protest to express our anger at the recent prejudicial life term convictions of 3 Sikh activists, which is not in any way an isolated event, but something that represents the continued mistreatment of those Sikhs that pursue Sikh freedom, Khalistan, in Indian occupied Punjab."

Sikh groups were also joined by Kashmiri activists, who were protesting the Indian government's actions in the disputed region. There were approximately 50 - 80 of them in total.

But some supporters of the Indian government also turned up out of the blue with flags and banners, chanting "Pakistani terrorists" and "we love Modi" at their opponents. The police tried their best to keep the two groups apart.

No one can say who provoked whom but it soon became difficult for the police to handle the incident, and backup had to be called. In the aftermath there were some minor injuries but no serious ones. No one was arrested.


Here is a video clip

A Pakistani journalist faced minor injuries too.

Afterwards, India Today's journalist Loveena Tandon interviewed some 'counter-protesters', but she neglected to mention her star witness, Suresh Mangalagiri, was a BJP activist. The other did not give his full name.

But both witnesses were absolutely convinced the Pakistani intelligence services were behind the Sikh protests. Ms Tandon did not ask them to back up their claims, as a journalist might do. Presumably the two were expert internet detectives.

But the Asian News International (ANI) agency took the absurdity to a new level. It claimed that Sikh activists were chanting 'Allahu Akbar' - presumably so they could let everyone know they were ISI agents. Lest there be any doubt.

We looked at the footage and couldn't find any such chants by turban-wearing Sikhs.
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