India frowns at ‘Burhan Wani Day’ rally in Birmingham, asks UK to stop event
India on Monday lodged a strong protest with British authorities for allowing a rally to be held in Birmingham on July 8 to commemorate the day Hizbul Mujahideen ‘commander’ Burhan Wani was killed in 2016, asking them to stop the event.
A ‘note verbale’ in this regard was issued by deputy high commissioner Dinesh Patnaik to the Foreign Office, reflecting a toughening of New Delhi’s position on events seen as anti-Indian in the United Kingdom. The July 8 event is billed as ‘Burhan Wani Day’ and ‘Kashmir Rally’.
The development comes less than a week after high commissioner Y K Sinha delivered an unusually strong speech at a book release event here, when he said post-Brexit Britain’s eagerness to intensify trade with India cannot happen at the cost of India’s core concerns.
Sinha said: “The way the UK permits anti-India activity on its soil, in Delhi people are quite perturbed about that. We are also a democratic society but we do not discuss issues that affect our friends and allies.”
“Allowing anti-India elements to flourish here in the name of democracy will not do”, he said in the speech that caused ripples and raised eyebrows in diplomatic and political circles, but was welcomed in Indian quarters.
It was conveyed in the ‘note verbale’ that allowing an event to commemorate an individual considered by India as a ‘terrorist’ was not expected of the Theresa May government. Wani was photographed with an AK-47 rifle, seeking dismemberment of India, it was pointed out.
Wani, who was an associate of Syed Salahuddin (recently branded a ‘global terrorist’ by the United States) was killed on July 8, 2016, leading to a prolonged phase of unrest in the Kashmir valley.
The July 8 event is scheduled to be held outside the Council House in Birmingham.
Posters announcing the event have been circulated across the social media, featuring a photograph of Wani and mentioning figures about alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, including injuries caused by pellets fired by security forces.
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