Police register FIR against Khalistan radicals for London protests

Mar 26, 2023 10:21 AM IST

India will invoke the full force of law against Khalistan extremists holding protests in UK, Canada, Australian and US. While India’s QUAD partners have been responsive to these unlawful protests, the Modi government will hold UK and Canada government accountable for their lackadaisical response to these Sikh extremists.

New Delhi: In wake of protests by Khalistan supporters in UK, Australia, UK, and US, India has decided to invoke the law of the land against those extremists who have violated the sovereign territory of India by breaking into High Commission in London as well as Consulate General in San Francisco.

Khalistan Sikh Extremists protesting outside Indian embassy in Washington today
Khalistan Sikh Extremists protesting outside Indian embassy in Washington today

On March 23, 2023, the Special Cell of Delhi Police registered an FIR against pulling down of Indian National Flag by Khalistan extremists lead by political asylum seeker Avtar Singh Khanda after breaking into premises of the Indian High Commission in London on March 19. It is understood that the FIR was registered under sectors 109/147/148/149/120-B/448/452/325 of IPC along with Section 13 of the UAPA, Section 3(1) of the PDPP and Prevention to insult to National Honour Act.

It is understood that the Modi government will file proper complaints against the violent protestors with the UK and US governments as well are examining invoking the domestic law against those Indian citizens identified as violent protestors in the Khalistan rally in London, San Francisco, Ottawa, and other places. Once the law is invoked, these identified protestors will face the heat from law all over the world as breaking into Embassy premises is a breach of criminal law.

It is understood that the Indian Embassy in Washington has already filed a complaint with the US Secret Service over the Khalistani protest, where slogans were raised against India and the Indian Ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu, himself a Sikh, was branded as terrorist and an agent of India. The journalist from an Indian news agency who was roughed up by the Khalistan protestors is also expected to file a complaint with the US government.

The message from New Delhi to UK, Canada, Australia, and US government is quite unambiguous. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar made it very clear from Bengaluru that security of Indian premises and its staff in these countries is responsibility of the receiving government and that India will hold them accountable for any adverse events.

It is quite evident that US and Australian government responses have been much sharper to the Khalistan extremists and sympathizers than the UK and Canada government. While the Modi government has noted with satisfaction the sharp response of US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to Khalistan protestors in San Francisco, New Delhi’s response to these protests is not going to be episodic but will be part of a long-term strategy towards these countries. The US Secret Service was present at the Washington protests today and made sure that the extremists were kept out of Embassy premises while recording the entire event and the sloganeering against India and the Indian ambassador.

Fact is that the Modi government has taken these protests with utmost seriousness but will use the law against the Sikh radicals rather than react in any overt manner. The Indian response is part of the new policy of the Modi government as there is stern message to both the governments of the countries where the protests are taking place as well as the protestors. “ It is not about merely revoking the OCI cards of the identified protestors but about facing the full force of law in India and abroad,” said a senior diplomat.

While the radical protests abroad are part of the absconding Sikh extremist Amritpal Singh narrative, the Modi government will be forced to be revisit bilateral relations against those countries which are tacitly supporting these radicals in the name of free speech.

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    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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