Last Updated: April 19, 2023, 03:52 IST
Pro-Khalistani protestors tried to vandalise the Indian High Commission in London and pulled down the national flag while holding protests outside the High Commission complex on March 19 (AP/PTI)
UK Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said on Monday that the government finds the criminal damage on staff at the Indian High Commission “unacceptable”
The British government takes the security of the Indian High Commission in London “extremely seriously” and robustly responds to criminal incidents at diplomatic missions, the House of Commons has been informed.
In response to a written parliamentary question by Indian-origin Labour MP Navendu Mishra, UK Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said on Monday that the government finds the criminal damage and assaults on staff at the Indian High Commission in London last month “unacceptable”.
“The government takes the protective security of the Indian High Commission extremely seriously,” said Tugendhat.
“The government remains committed to protecting the security of missions throughout the UK, including preventing and rapidly and robustly responding to incidents such as this. The criminal damage and assaults on staff from the India High Commission at the incident on the weekend of the 18th March were unacceptable. The police have powers to deal with such acts,” he said.
The Home Office minister said the follow ups in the case were an operational matter for the police, with decisions on possible criminal proceedings to be made in conjunction with the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
“As stated in our previous response, it is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on diplomatic security arrangements. To do so could compromise the integrity of those arrangements and affect the security of the individuals and locations concerned,” he added.
Mishra had tabled his question at the end of last month to seek further information about the security assessments assured by the British government in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the High Commission premises and what steps were being taken “to ensure the safety and security of diplomatic missions”.
It comes as it emerged that India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) will take over the case of the attempted vandalisation of India House in London during last month’s protest, as it involves unlawful activities carried out by certain people holding Indian nationality abroad.
Indian officials have said that the NIA will take over the investigation from the special cell of the Delhi Police, which had registered a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
A group of pro-Khalistani protestors shattered windows at the London mission and pulled down the national flag during protests on March 19, a day after the local police launched a crackdown against radical preacher Amritpal Singh in Punjab.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)