Barricades outside British embassy in Delhi removed after Khalistan protest in London
Supporters of the separatist movement had pulled down a national flag outside the Indian High Commission in UK on Sunday.
Barricades meant for security outside the British High Commission and the residence of the UK ambassador in New Delhi were removed on Wednesday three days after Khalistan supporters staged a demonstration outside the Indian High Commission in London, reported ANI.
At the pro-Khalistan demonstrations on Sunday, one of the protestors had pulled down India’s national flag. Others were seen waving Khalistan flags and shouting slogans in support of the separatist movement. India had summoned British Deputy High Commissioner Christina Scott and sought an explanation for the lapse in security.
On Tuesday, unidentified officials had told The Economic Times that New Delhi is of the view that the the level of security for certain foreign embassies is unnecessary as they face no threat in India. In comparison, Indian diplomats in the UK and Europe are not given adequate security despite threats, the officials had told the newspaper.
On Wednesday, visuals on social media showed barricades placed outside the UK mission at Shantipath in the Chanakyapuri diplomatic enclave and British High Commissioner Alex Ellis’ residence at Rajaji Marg being removed.
An unidentified Delhi Police officer told PTI that the security arrangements were intact and only extra barricades on the pathway leading to the British embassy “that created hurdles for commuters” have been removed.
A British High Commission spokesperson refused to comment on the move to, saying it was a “security matter”, the Hindustan Times reported.
The Khalistan supporters in London were demonstrating against a crackdown by security forces against Sikh group Waris Punjab De, led by Amritpal Singh, a sympathiser of the separatist movement, who has been on the run since Saturday when the state police launched an operation to arrest him.
The crackdown on Singh started after he and his supporters stormed a police station in Amritsar on February 23 following the arrest of one of the preacher’s aides for alleged assault and attempted kidnapping.
The Waris Punjab De leader has garnered a significant following through his speeches that often focussed on Punjab’s youth and religion. He has also given several interviews supporting demands for Khalistan, an independent state for Sikhs.
The Punjab police have prepared a list of more than 450 persons who were working with Singh. So far, 154 persons have been arrested.