The Indian High Commission in London was vandalised on Tuesday after a protest by hundreds of people against the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status. The high commission posted a photo on Twitter of a broken window.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan replied to the tweet, saying: “I utterly condemn this unacceptable behaviour and have raised this incident with Metropolitan Police UK to take action.” In the evening, the police announced they had arrested two people in connection with the attack, reported ITV News.
This is the second time protests outside the Indian embassy have turned violent. Indian Independence Day celebrations were disrupted by protestors on August 15. They hurled stones and eggs at the embassy building and British Indians marking the occasion.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the incident had affected the security and normal functioning of the embassy. “We consider these incidents to be unacceptable and have strongly urged government of United Kingdom to take action against those involved,” the ministry said, according to ANI.
In response to a query by Tory MP Shailesh Vara, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said such violent protests were deplorable. “It shouldn’t be conducted in this country, or anywhere else for that matter, at any individual communities,” he told members of the House of Commons. “What we now need to do is try and reduce those tensions but also, on a positive side, build up confidence-building measures to allow proper dialogue between the communities in Kashmir and also between India and Pakistan.”
Birmingham resident Inam ul Haq, 50, who helped organise the demonstration, said protestors want the Indian government to lift the restrictions imposed in Kashmir. “People have been locked in prison, they have no access to the internet and the media has been shut down,” he told ITV News.