India raises Leicester, Birmingham incidents of violence with UK authorities
The violence in Leicester erupted following differences between groups of Hindus and Muslims over a recent India-Pakistan cricket match, followed by clashes between members of the two communities over the weekend
NEW DELHI: India has raised the matter of violence against the Indian community in Leicester, and sought strict action from the United Kingdom against the perpetrators, external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday.
The Indian high commission in London has condemned the violence and the matter was raised by external affairs minister S Jaishankar during a meeting with his British counterpart James Cleverly on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Bagchi told a weekly news briefing.
“The mission [in London] continues to be in touch with the UK side. We are in touch with diplomatic and security authorities to prevent further attacks and take action against the perpetrators,” he said in a response to questions.
“That has been our repeated request – to prevent these attacks and take action.”
Following his meeting with Cleverly, Jaishankar tweeted: “Shared my concern about the security and welfare of the Indian community in UK. Welcomed his assurances in that regard.”
Jaishankar said he had a “warm conversation” with Cleverly, during which they also discussed taking forward the India-UK 2030 Roadmap.
The violence in Leicester erupted following differences between groups of Hindus and Muslims over a recent India-Pakistan cricket match. This was followed by clashes between members of the two communities over the weekend.
The problem subsequently spread to an area near Birmingham, where a mob of masked men gathered outside a Hindu temple on Tuesday and pelted it with bottles and crackers.
In response to another question about pro-Khalistan elements in Canada conducting a so-called referendum on an independent Sikh homeland, Bagchi said this was a “farcical exercise…held by extremist and radical elements”.
“The matter has been taken up with the Canadian authorities through diplomatic channels. The government of Canada has reiterated that they respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India and that they will not recognise the so-called referendum, which is taking place in Canada,” he said.
Bagchi added that India finds it “deeply objectionable that politically motivated exercises by extremist elements are allowed to take place in a friendly country” such as Canada.
“You are all aware of the history of violence in this regard. The government of India will continue to press the government of Canada on this matter,” he said.