Clashes and verbal abuses during protest outside India House in London

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Nation special report

LONDON: Clashes and verbal abuses have become a common trend during anti-and pro India demonstrations outside the India House in London on various occasions. The same untoward situation was witnessed on Saturday, 9th March when members of Sikh, Pakistani and Kashmiri diasporas held protest against the Indian political leadership and armed forces on the issue of Kashmir and ‘Khalistan’. At the same time, members of Indian diaspora were also showing their strength for their leadership and armed forces.

During the chanting of slogans, participants from both sides got provoked and started attacking on each other with the banners, display boards, punching and kicking. Police had to act to disperse them and maintained the law & order situation in control.

This is the second time that rivals clashed outside the India House. Previously on 5th February, when the anti-India elements were observing ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’, the same situation erupted. Subsequently, Indian diaspora, for the first time, held big demonstration outside the Pakistan High Commission to condemn the Pulwama attack, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Pakistan Government.

Various Sikh organisations organised the demonstration on Saturday, also supported by Kashmiri and Pakistani nationals. They were holding banners and display board demanding Indian forces to quit Kashmir and Punjab and let Kashmiri and Sikhs to have their basic fundamental right of self-determination.

Sikh Federation issued a press release on the event that created law & order situation and compelled the police force to consider the issue of granting the permission for such demonstration in future.

“Police should not have given permission to both the parties for demonstration at the same place and at the same time. In future, people may get injured if situation goes beyond control”, Pakistani, Kashmiri and Sikh diaspora commented.

On the other hand, the Indian diaspora, expressing their views, said; “enough is enough, we had been seeing these protests against our beloved country for long time but now they would not be allowed to do any more. We shall act as ‘tit for tat’ and if police have any objection to our demonstration, they should not allow others to do so”.

“Britain is a democratic country and does allow everyone to express their views but within limits. While considering the present hostile situation, we may not allow any party to hold demonstration on the diplomatic missions to ensure law & order”, a police spokesman has reportedly stated.

WSP statement

The World Sikh Parliament (WSP) has said that Pulwama attack proved the extremist Hindus are ruling India. Ranjit Singh Srai said that BJP and Congress both are using Pulwama attack as an election tool. He said, “The Sikh homeland in Indian-controlled Punjab, which itself is going through its own struggle for self-determination, is therefore at the heart of the issue and the World Sikh Parliament will hold India strictly to account for any loss of life or destruction in our homeland.”

He added, “The World Sikh Parliament urges the UN to take the lead in seizing this moment to nurture peaceful conflict resolution in both Kashmir and Punjab, based on international law which recognizes the right of self-determination as a fundamental human right.”

Ranjit Singh Srai continued “The forcible denial of that right has led directly to hundreds of thousands of deaths in both regions over recent decades; it is time the international community woke up to the need to address the unlawful and morally indefensible position of the Indian state. Let us be clear; there will be no peace in the region until that happens.”

World Sikh Parliament said that “The use of nuclear weapons there risks the annihilation of most of the world’s Sikhs, no Sikh can support the warmongering antics of the Indian establishment and its hysterical media acolytes.”

The WSP appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s gesture of peace and said: “We laud the peaceful posture and wise counsel of Pakistan PM Imran Khan who has repeatedly offered negotiations to his counterpart over recent days.”

In case of war, WSP said that “We call on Sikh soldiers serving in Indian forces to refuse to engage in offensive actions and instead to go to Punjab to protect its people in the face of an existential threat to the Sikh nation and other Punjabis. The World Sikh Parliament also extends its full support to those in Kashmir struggling to secure self-determination in accordance with international law.”

Sikh speakers

Joga Singh of the World Sikh Parliament, speaking to the gathered international media, called for urgent steps to stop a war that would devastate the Sikh homeland and population.

Amrik Singh Sahota (Council of Khalistan) urged Sikhs and Kashmiris in Indian controlled territories to act to stop the war and for Sikh soldiers to return to Punjab and protect its people in case full scale hostilities break out.

Dupinderjeet Singh and Parmjit Singh Pamma (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.

Balbir Singh Bains (Sikh Relief) called for the 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.

Other Sikh leaders, including Avtar Singh Sanghera (Babbar Akali Organisation), Gurcharan Singh ( Dal Khalsa), Kulwant Singh Mothada (Shiromani Akali Dal, Amritsar), Gurcharan Singh (Frankfurt Gurdwara), Balvinder Singh Dhillon and Sukvinder Singh  (United Khalsa Dal) called for a united struggle by the Sikh nation to defeat Indian colonialism and secure freedom.  They lauded Pakistan PM for his measured response to Indian aggression and said all other stakeholders in the region must work together to defeat Hindutva vote bank politics at this crisis point.

Kashmiri leaders

Speaking at the occasion, Kashmiri leaders also urged global action to follow up 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.

Raja Sikander Khan (GPKSC) condemned the daily atrocities by Indian security forces that have left thousands of innocent Kashmiris dead or maimed. 

“The brutal use of pellet guns, detention of legitimate political activists and authentic Kashmiri leaders is condemnable, Chaudry Dilpazir, Cllr. Liaquat Ali MBE,  Naeem Abbasi (OPWA), Miah Saleem (PPP) and Mr Malik (PML-N) and others commented.