Monday, 18 October 2021

British Indian MPs call for ban on London’s Kashmir march

© AFP/File | Niklas Halle’n

LONDON: British parliamentarians of Indian origin have come in the open to demand the banning of an upcoming Kashmir demonstration on October 27 in London.

The Indian lobbies in the UK have urged the British authorities to stop the protest march organised by the Kashmir’s across the UK to be marked as a black day against the Indian oppression.

Leicester East Member of Parliament (MP) Keith Vaz in an open letter wrote to the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said that large protest is planned outside the Indian High Commission (IHC) building on 27 October and he believe this is planned to coincide with the Hindu celebrations Diwali, letter said.

Arguing his case against the protest march for Kashmir, MP of Indian origin Vaz said that there have been previous incidents of large-scale protest outside IHC which have turned violent, he specifically mention the 15 August 2019 demonstration outside the Indian mission in London when thousands of Kashmir’s protested against the India’s decision to revoke the special status of Kashmir and subsequent gross human rights violations by the Indian forces in the area. During the protest outside IHC, four arrests were made by the London police for possession of an offensive weapon, obstruction of police and a public order offence.

Referring to the forthcoming march, Ketih Vaz stressed that to hold a demonstration during such an important Hindu festival Diwali, Ketih claims is indented solely to inflame tension and cause great offence. MP Vaz said that he do not believe this protest, while an express of free speech would be conducive to the public good and urged that the proposed demonstration should not be allowed to proceed.

Similarly, another Indian-origin London Assembly member (LMA) Navin Shah also wrote to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan referring to the London police update that around 5000- 10000 protestors plans to commence in London and finish outside the IHC London. He said that the given the chaos and mayhem witnessed outside the Indian Mission London on 15 August 2019 , serious concerns have been raised about this new demonstration and fear of repeat of the ugly scenes putting people and property at the risk, Shah claimed.

LMA Shah proposed to the Mayor sthat the London police can apply for permission to stop the protest due to public fear of disorder. In response to Shah’s letter Mayor Khan said, I absolutely condemn the plans for a protest march to take place on the auspicious day of Diwali, in the vicinity of the Indian High Commission in London. He said his City Hall office would be working with Scotland Yard to ensure a “robust” policing plan was in place for such a march.

However, Mayor Khan said that the power to ban marches of such nature lies with the Home Secretary, he would copy both Home Secretary London Police Commissioner in his response letter to see the full extent of the my concerns about this march.

Week last MP Keith Vaz demanded the Labour party to withdraw an emergency resolution passed by the party in its annual conference. The party’s resolution, unanimously passed at the conference in Brighton, accepted Kashmir as a disputed territory and said the people of Kashmir should be given the right to self-determination in accordance with the UN resolutions.

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