The British Scotland Yard has imposed a ban on the protest by Pakistan-sponsored-elements living in the United Kingdom outside the Indian High Commission on October 27. The protest coinciding with Diwali is organised in opposition to the Indian occupation of Kashmir and the subsequent communication lockdown following the revocation of Article 370.
Under the provisions of Section 14 Public Order Act 1986, the Scotland Yard has imposed restrictions on the procession gathering outside the Indian High Commission. The organisers of the “Free Kashmir Procession” have alleged that the Indian government has been lobbying with Home Secretary Priti Patel and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to ban the protest.
A ‘note verbale’ (diplomatic note) has been issued to Foreign Office expressing concern on the level of action being taken by the British government on ‘anti-Indian’ activities.
The issue was raised during the proceedings of the House of Commons on Wednesday after Conservative MP Bob Blackman asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson what measures were being undertaken to prevent violence. He said, “This Sunday, there is the threat of 10,000 people being brought to demonstrate outside the Indian high commission on Diwali—the holiest day for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.
What action will the Government take to prevent violent protests this Sunday.” Johnson responded that it was an operations matter for the police taken into consideration with Home Secretary Priti Patel, adding that “We must all be clear in this House that violence and intimidation anywhere in this country are wholly unacceptable.”
There were violent protests in London on August 1 and September 3 with the Indian High Commission being vandalised. Ahead of the protest on Sunday, the Indian Community in the UK has petitioned Mayor Sadiq Khan and other leading figures in the government to ensure peace and uninterrupted celebration of Diwali.