The United Kingdom on Monday condemned the burning of the Indian flag during a demonstration outside the Indian High Commission in London on Republic Day, PTI reported. The protest was reportedly conducted by separatist groups on January 26. The protestors were allegedly a group of British Sikh and Kashmiri separatists.
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it is investigating the matter, Hindustan Times reported. “We are aware of a social media video that appears to be from the demonstration outside India House in Aldwych on Saturday, 26 January,” a UK spokesperson said. “No allegations of crime have been reported. We are working to establish the exact circumstances of the video.”
“We are disappointed that anyone would chose to burn the Indian flag on any day, let alone the celebration of Republic Day, and we regret the upset that this will have caused,” the spokesperson said.
The UK spokesperson congratulated India on its Republic Day celebration. “We are proud to be a country that fiercely protects the rights of individuals to peaceful protest and free speech as essential parts of a vibrant democracy, provided that demonstrators act within the law,” the spokesperson said. “We do not condone the burning of national flags, which is deeply offensive to most people.”
In April 2018, an Indian tricolour was torn down from a flagpole at London’s Parliament Square during protests against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The perpetrators were believed to be pro-Khalistani and Kashmiri separatist groups’ demonstrators protesting under the banner of “Minorities Against Modi”.