Prime Minister Narendra Modi was greeted by angry protesters in London on Thursday as demonstrations against atrocities on minorities in India took centre stage in the British capital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was greeted by angry protesters in London on Thursday as demonstrations against atrocities on minorities in India took centre stage in the British capital. However, things turned violent at the Parliament Square after the Indian tricolour was taken down from one of the official flagpoles set up for all 53 Commonwealth countries. As per a statement by the Metropolitan police, the Indian flag was replaced soon after.
Police have been investigating after the Indian flag in Parliament Square was pulled down at 3 PM (UK time) on Wednesday, 18 April. There have been no arrests and enquiry is underway. A senior Indian official said that the British authorities have apologised for the incident. The official also said that the authorities have assured them of action in any such case.
Meanwhile, protests against PM Modi’s UK visit continued on Wednesday as nearly 500 pro-Khalistani demonstrators from Sikh Federation UK and demonstrators from the so-called “Minorities Against Modi” group, led by Pakistani-origin peer Lord Ahmed, descended upon Parliament Square.
Earlier on Wednesday, flash mob of sari-clad women with dhols set the tone for the pro-Modi crowds opposite 10 Downing Street as the Indian PM arrived for his breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May. They were joined by the Friends of India Society International (FISI) group, which spearheaded a crowd of Indian diaspora from across the UK waving banners such as Chak De India, and Jai Hind outside Downing Street and nearby Parliament Square. On the other side, the anti-Modi protesters from Caste Watch UK and South Asia Solidarity group waved banners such as ‘Modi, you have blood on your hands’ and ‘Modi Not Welcome’.
They were joined by other protestors carrying images the eight-year-old rape victim from Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, and Gauri Lankesh, the Indian journalist who was shot at her doorstep last year. The group also included representatives of several Indian women’s groups in the UK, wearing white as part of their silent protest against atrocities that are taking place in India.