The United Kingdom on Wednesday cancelled a rally scheduled for July 8 to commemorate the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. The Birmingham City Council withdrew the permission granted to organisers to observe “Burhan Wani Day” after India lodged a strong protest with the country, PTI reported.
The Indian High Commission in London had written to the UK Foreign Office on Monday to register its protest. It had demanded that the “Kashmir Rally”, which was to be held outside the Council House, be cancelled.
On Monday, India’s Deputy High Commissioner Dinesh Patnaik had sent a “note verbale” to the UK Foreign Office, which included details of Wani’s crimes and how he propagated violence in the state.
“A rally on Kashmir is a different matter, but to glorify and eulogise a terrorist is unacceptable,” wrote Patnaik. “The UK itself has suffered at the hands of terrorism in the past few months, and lives have been overturned as a result. How can law and order allow such glorification of terrorists and propagation of violence?”
UK-based Kashmiri groups had been planning the march to mark Wani’s first death anniversary. The posters and announcements of the event carried a photo of the militant.
“We took a booking for a peaceful rally highlighting the human rights abuses in Kashmir,” a spokesperson for the Birmingham City Council said, according to The Hindu. “However, we are now aware of concerns raised about the promotional leaflet, and having assessed the material have not given permission for the use of Victoria Square.”