New Delhi, August 10: Peaceful protests were conducted outside the British High Commission in New Delhi on Friday by Sikhs against the permission granted by the United Kingdom to hold August 12's rally in London. All India Anti-Terrorist Front led by Maninderjeet Singh Bitta protested against the 'London Declaration for Referendum 2020'. Protesters were also carrying placards stating that the UK is supporting Inter-Services Intelligence's (ISI) project codenamed 'Express' against India.
India had already registered its formal opposition to the event through a demarche when news of the rally emerged in July. The Ministry of External Affairs in its statement said that it expected the UK government would not allow any such group whose intention was to “spread hatred and impact our bilateral relations.”
Protest outside UK High Commission in Delhi against August 12's Khalistan 'Referendum 2020' rally in London. pic.twitter.com/Iiz1fHoJvt
— ANI (@ANI) August 10, 2018
However, the United Kingdom on August 6 in response to India’s request reiterated that people have the right to demonstrate within the law. The British High Commission spokesperson said, “In the United Kingdom, people have right to gather and demonstrate their views, provided that they do so within the law.” Britain’s left-wing Green Party also announced its support for the pro-Khalistan rally in London. Scotland Yard has said it had not received any complaints regarding the event, which will be allowed to go ahead without any restrictions.
Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a pro-Khalistan organisation is holding the ‘London Declaration for Referendum 2020’ at Trafalgar Square on August 12 seeking separate country for Sikhs. Several Kashmiri separatist outfits have also extended their support to a global pro-Khalistan event on August 12 in London.