British MPs Support Indian Groups Who Want Action Over Tricolor Desecration
The tricolor was pulled down, torn and burnt at the Parliament Square in London on April 18.
Several British politicians have expressed their support for Indian diaspora groups who want action against those who desecrated the Indian flag and attacked a journalist during anti-India protests in London during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city in April.
Indian-origin British MP Virendra Sharma, chair of the Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), Labour Party MP Seema Malhotra and Conservative Party MP Bob Blackman expressed their “concern” over the incident, which had taken place during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). India had said that it was “deeply anguished” over the incident.
The United Kingdom government had apologized to India on April 19 over the incident. The tricolor flag was torn down from an official flag post, torn, stomped on and burnt on April 18 at Parliament Square while Modi was in London for the meeting.
“We are very concerned by this incident, which involved damage to property and a violation of freedom of speech involving an Indian journalist (Aaj Tak journalist Loveena Tandon). It is important that community groups take the lead on this and pursue this issue,” Sharma said on May 14, according to the Press Trust of India.
The Indian diaspora has also started a petition, which has been signed by more than 21,700 people, demanding “action against the culprits who brought down Indian flag” and tore it “under the watchful eyes of British police,” according to the Hindu.
“It is vital that all the physical evidence available is gathered together and lodged with the police in the form of a criminal complaint,” said Blackman, who had planned to initiate cross-party Early Day Motion (EDM) in the Commons on the tricolor desecration issue. He was on May 14 given a letter addressed to British Prime Minister Theresa May outside 10 Downing Street by Indian Supreme Court advocate EV Venugopal.
“These demonstrators were raising slogans calling for the creation of ‘Khalistan’ and Kashmiri separatism. It is clear these purveyors of hatred will never limit their actions to non-violent protest. Their ideology invariably culminates in violence against the innocent,” the letter says, according to PTI.
“We received an allegation of assault on April 19 relating to an incident in Parliament Square on April 18. No arrests. Enquiries continue,” a Metropolitan Police statement said.
Venugopal, who offered his services to the India diaspora groups, said that there was enough evidence for the police to take suo moto action against the protesters for criminal conspiracy. He added that his group will also consider requesting the International Criminal Court to take cognizance.