India’s Bharatiya Janata Party-backed extremists attacked Sikhs and Kashmiris gathered outside the Indian High Commission in London to protest Indian brutalities against their respective communities, a private TV channel reported on Sunday.
According to Daily Times, UK, people from different minority communities living in India, including Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, had gathered at a demonstration organized by the Overseas Pakistanis Welfare Council and the Sikhs for Justice to protest against gross human rights violations in India as well as in Indian-held Kashmir. The protesters were shouting slogans against the increasing aggression of Indian forces when a crowd of people attacked them and attempted to stop the demonstration. They also beat up some of the demonstrators, including a reporter of a private television channel.
At least three people were injured in the conflict when the fanatics tried to snatch flags and placards from the protesters. However, the protesters were undeterred and continued their protest.
In the clashes, the whole of the area around Holborn and the London School of Economics came to a standstill for quite some time as dozens of police vans arrived at the scene. Bottles were thrown on Khalistani and Kashmiri protesters from Modi supporters and then the clashes started. Activists from both sides exchanged fists and the Indian flag was brought down by the Sikh protesters from outside the Indian High Commission. Several people were injured during the clashes.
Scotland Yard had to intervene to bring the situation under control. Two protesters were seen being handcuffed by the police for getting involved in the physical fight. One protester was seen with blood pouring down his face.
The Sikh protesters carried banners demanding the creation of Khalistan, and protested imprisonment of Sikh activists by Indian government for posting Facebook messages in support of Khalistan and detention and convictions of dozens of Sikhs on bogus charges. The protesters said that amongst those detained by India were British nationals who were picked up and convicted during their visits to Punjab in India. They mentioned, in particular, Ranjit Singh, Surjit Singh and Arvinder Singh, who were jailed over Facebook posts.
Speaking to the international media gathered at the sport, Joga Singh of the World Sikh Parliament called for urgent steps to stop a war that would devastate the Sikh homeland and population. Council of Khalistan’s Amrik Singh Sahota urged Sikhs and Kashmiris in Indian-held territories to act to stop the war and for Sikh soldiers to return to Punjab and protect their people in case full-scale hostilities break out.
Dupinderjeet Singh and Parmjit Singh Pamma from Sikhs for Justice demanded that a plebiscite in Kashmir be held, along with a referendum in Indian-occupied Punjab so that democratic outcomes may underpin permanent resolution of conflicts in those regions. Sikh Relief’s Balbir Singh Bains called for immediate release of Sikh political prisoners by India, including three recently jailed for life simply for non-violent activism linked to the Sikh struggle for self-determination.
Kashmiri leaders also urged global action in follow-up to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 2018 report calling for a halt to Indian hostilities in Kashmir and the delivery of long promised self-determination in the disputed territory.
Separately, a protest demonstration was also held in German city of Frankfurt by the International Khalsa Federation and EU-Pakistan Friendship Federation Europe. Speaking on the occasion, the participants urged India to stop human rights violations and killings of innocent Kashmiris in Indian-held Kashmir, grant right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and freedom to the Sikh community in the shape of Khalistan as their independent state. The protesters were carrying placards inscribed with slogans like ‘India must stop Kashmir holocaust’, ‘India must end violence in occupied Kashmir’. The focus of the demonstrations was Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose extreme Hindu right-wing government is trying to turn India into an exclusively Hindu state run by upper caste Hindus at the cost of minorities.