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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Swachh London: Indian envoy wields mop after eggs thrown

Nearly 2,500 protestors raised slogans against India and broke some window panes of the Indian mission, raising another diplomatic row between India and the UK.

world Updated: Sep 08, 2019 07:22 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Indian HC to the UK, takes up a cleaning drive with other Indians living in the UK outside India House, London.
Indian HC to the UK, takes up a cleaning drive with other Indians living in the UK outside India House, London. (HT PHOTOS/Prasun Sonwalkar)
         

In a Gandhian gesture, Ruchi Ghanshyam, India’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom, took up a mop and cleaned sections of India House and the pavement sullied by eggs and other projectiles hurled during the September 3 proteston the issue of scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Nearly 2,500 protestors raised slogans against India and broke some window panes of the Indian mission, raising another diplomatic row between India and the UK. New Delhi repeated its concerns following the incident to the Foreign Office.

Ghanshyam said:“We want to show that we are not scared or intimidated. India has responded and this clean up drive too is part of India’s official response.”

Deputy high commissioner Charanjeet Singh and members of the Indian community accompanied her in the cleaning drive India House

was also the focus of protest on August 15, when thousands of protestors attacked the mission building as well as some members of the Indian community who were present to celebrate India’s Independence Day.

The protests on August 15 and September 3 are the latest in the history of such protests since the 1980s, when Khalistani and Kashmiri separatist elements operated, raised funds and staged protests in the UK, prompting New Delhi to take up the issue repeatedly.

London’s position has always been - also revealed in declassified documents - that democratic dissent and protests are a matter of citizens’ right and part of freedom of expression. It is a matter of balancing these rights against the duties that London is obliged to perform under the Vienna Convention.

First Published: Sep 07, 2019 20:21 IST

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