LONDON: Scotland Yard has arrested a man on suspicion of “violent disorder” in connection with an attack on the Indian High Commission in London in March this year. The Metropolitan Police said the man, who was arrested during a protest outside India House on Monday, was held in connection with a protest on March 19 and has been released on bail pending further enquiries.
A British Sikh man was seen being led away by police officers on patrol during Monday’s protest, called to demand UK government intervention over Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claims of alleged Indian involvement in the killing of wanted terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an allegation strongly rejected by India as “absurd and motivated”.
“On Monday, October 2, a man was arrested outside the Indian High Commission on suspicion of violent disorder in relation to a protest at the same venue on 19 March,” the Met Police statement said.
“The man was taken into custody and has been bailed pending further enquiries,” the statement noted.
The man can be named only after he is charged but is believed to be one of over a dozen individuals identified by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to have been responsible for the attack on the High Commission of India on March 19, when pro-Khalistan extremists scaled the building and attempted to pull down the Indian national flag. At least one official was injured as objects were hurled at the building and windows were shattered.
At the time, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) summoned the senior-most UK diplomat in New Delhi to convey India’s “strong protest” at the actions of separatist and extremist elements against the High Commission of India in London. In June, the NIA released photographs of suspects they believe were involved in the violent protest as the central agency took over the probe after Home Ministry officials met UK representatives in the wake of the attack.
The latest arrest comes as Police Scotland revealed that it had found “no criminality” related to the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami, being blocked from a gurdwara by pro-Khalistan extremists in Glasgow last week.
“Following extensive enquiries into a report of a disturbance in the Albert Drive area of Glasgow on Friday, September 29, 2023, no criminality has been established,” said a Police Scotland spokesperson.
The police had been summoned over the “disgraceful incident” as three people “deliberately disrupted” the planned community visit and one man even attempted to violently force open the diplomatic vehicle as senior diplomats arrived at Glasgow Gurdwara Guru Granth Sahib on Albert Drive.
“It is due to the quick reaction of one of the organisers, who physically intervened at the car door, that a bigger incident was avoided. The High Commission of India has reported this disgraceful incident to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Metropolitan Police,” the Indian High Commission statement said at the time.
Glasgow Gurdwara had also followed up with its statement to condemn the “disorderly behaviour” by “unknown” and “unruly” individuals, who disturbed the peace at a place of worship and attempted to disrupt the visit of the envoy facilitated by a member of the Scottish Parliament.
“Glasgow Gurdwara strongly condemns such disorderly behaviour to disrupt the peaceful proceedings of a Sikh place of worship. The Gurdwara is open to people from all communities and backgrounds, and we welcome everyone openly as per our principles of faith,” it said.
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