India Urges UK to Take Action Against Miscreants Involved in Indian Flag Desecration
Kiren Rijiju, the Minister of State is said to have told UK Minister Baroness Susan Williams that he was shocked at the incident where the tricolor was desecrated in London.
India has asked authorities in the United Kingdom to take measures against the miscreants who were associated with the desecration of the country’s flag when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited London during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April this year, the Hindu reported.
The issue was raised during the meeting of a five-member delegation from the United Kingdom, led by Baroness Susan Williams, the Minister of State for Countering Extremism and Minister for Equalities, with Kiren Rijiju, India’s Minister of State for Home, in New Delhi on June 11.
Rijiju told Williams that he was completely “aghast and shocked” at the incident in which the tricolor was desecrated at Parliament Square by “miscreants in the presence of Metropolitan Police” during Modi’s UK visit, the daily reported.
India has said that it was surprised that the UK police did not take any action against the culprits. No arrests have been made so far in the case despite the presence of photographic evidence, India pointed out, the report added.
“I would like to insist that action is taken urgently against the culprits who have been caught on video. It has been almost two months since the incident and in spite of photographic proof and witness statements, there have been no arrests or progress in the investigations. This is quite disappointing, to say the least,” Rijiju is learnt to have told the UK delegation, the publication reported.
He added that India was dissatisfied with the anti-India activities being carried out by some fringe Kashmiri and Sikh groups in the United Kingdom relentlessly.
The issue was taken up strongly by the Indian High Commission with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a senior government official said, according to the report. “The Mission has also submitted video and photographic evidences of the culprits to the Metropolitan Police and is following up with them,” the official was quoted as saying by the publication.
According to Indian agencies, pro-Khalistani activists and Kashmiri separatists together carried out the act of desecrating the Indian tricolor during Modi’s visit in April. Minorities Against Modi, a group led by a Pakistani-origin man, was caught on camera vandalizing the Indian flag, the report said.
Modi was greeted with protests when he arrived for talks with UK Prime Minister Theresa May on April 18 in London. Vans bearing digital posters that said “#ModiNotWelcome” were seen on the way, criticizing his lack of explicit censure over recent incidents of rape in India. Members of the Sikh and Kashmiri diaspora were also part of the protests and called for an end to “religious persecution” in India.
“Increasing instances of better coordination between the Kashmiri and Sikh separatists have come to our notice. We hope that the UK government will take cognizance of such anti-India activities being planned on British soil and take steps to curb them,” Rijiju reportedly told the UK delegation.
The UK government had apologized to India on April 19 over the incident, in which the Indian flag was pulled down from an official flag post, torn, stomped upon and burnt on April 18. A replacement flag was put up after a complaint was made by the Indian authorities to the Foreign Office and Scotland Yard regarding the incident.