By: Shubham Ghosh
India’s external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who is not known for mincing words, has slammed the British government over the March 19 vandalism at the Indian high commission in London accusing authorities of failing to meet security obligations.
A group of pro-Khalistan supporters targeted the mission a day after police in the northern Indian state of Punjab launched a crackdown on separatist leader Amritpal Singh, bringing down the Indian Tricolour and smashing a window. The protesters also carried posters carrying Singh’s photograph and slogans such as ‘FreeAmritpalSingh’ and ‘WeWantJustice’, ‘WeStandWithAmritpalSingh’.
“It’s the obligation of the receiving country to provide security for a diplomat to do their work, to ensure the embassy or high commission’s premises are respected. These obligations were not met. We have had conversations with the British government on this,” Jaishankar said while addressing an in Bengaluru organised by local parliamentarian of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party Tejasvi Surya.
“Many countries are very casual about it (security). They have a very different view about their own security and a different view about other people’s security, but I can tell you as a foreign minister that we are not going to accept this kind of differential standards,” Jaishankar said.
Videos that went viral on social media platforms showed a man scaling the walls of the mission to bring down the Indian flag to the chants of ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ (Long Live Khalistan). India Weekly could not independently check the veracity of the videos posted on Twitter.
India lodged a strong protest with the British authorities later on the same day by summoning the country’s deputy high commissioner Christina Scott and seeking an explanation over the lack of security at the diplomatic premises.