Republic Day: We don’t condone burning flags, says UK

Updated on Jan 25, 2019 11:45 PM IST

As India raised the issue of some anti-India elements planning to burn the Indian flag in London on Republic Day, the Foreign Office said the United Kingdom does not “condone” such activities.

Students form a human chain to resemble the Indian national flag on the eve of the Republic Day in Pune.(PTI)
Students form a human chain to resemble the Indian national flag on the eve of the Republic Day in Pune.(PTI)
Hindustan Times, London | By

As India raised the issue of some anti-India elements planning to burn the Indian flag in London on Republic Day, the Foreign Office said the United Kingdom does not “condone” such activities, but fiercely protects the right to protest peacefully.

Indian officials have taken up the issue with London, particularly in the context of the Indian flag being mutilated during the April 2018 visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We congratulate India on her Republic Day celebration, and look forward to deepening our relationship further as we prepare to leave the European Union and forge new partnerships with key global allies.”

“We are proud to be a country that fiercely protects the rights of individuals to peaceful protest and free speech as essential parts of a vibrant democracy, provided that demonstrators act within the law. We do not condone the burning of national flags, which is deeply offensive to most people.”

Some elements have announced on social media plans to burn the Indian flag outside India House in the Strand. Similar plans have reportedly been announced in the United States and Canada.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prasun Sonwalkar was Editor (UK & Europe), Hindustan Times. During more than three decades, he held senior positions on the Desk, besides reporting from India’s north-east and other states, including a decade covering politics from New Delhi. He has been reporting from UK and Europe since 1999.

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