MEA says UK authorities ensured safety, security of Indian High Commission personnel during London protests

The statement came after protests this week outside the Indian High Commission in London and the Indian Consulate in Birmingham in support of Indian farmers protesting against the Centre's farm laws

Press Trust of India December 12, 2020 20:00:42 IST
MEA says UK authorities ensured safety, security of Indian High Commission personnel during London protests

File image of MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. ANI.

New Delhi: The UK authorities took necessary action in the wake of protests outside Indian missions in London and Birmingham to ensure the safety and security of the premises and personnel, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday.

The MEA also asserted that it is in constant touch with local authorities regarding the safety and security of India's diplomatic premises.

The assertion came after protests this week outside the Indian High Commission in London and the Indian Consulate in Birmingham in support of Indian farmers protesting against the new farm laws.

On the protest in London, an Indian High Commission spokesperson had said, "It soon became clear that the gathering was led by anti-India separatists who had taken the opportunity of the protests in India to ostensibly back the farmers in India but use the opportunity to pursue their own anti-India agenda."

Asked about the demonstrations and calls by pro-Khalistan outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) for surrounding Indian missions, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, "We are in constant touch with local authorities regarding the safety and security of our diplomatic premises. This, as you know, is the responsibility of the host government."

"Regarding the protest in front of our High Commission in London and our Consulate in Birmingham, UK authorities took necessary action to ensure the safety and security of our premises and our personnel," he said at an online briefing.

To another question on designated Khalistani terrorist Paramjit Singh Pamma spotted at protests in the UK and whether India had taken up the issue with the UK officially, Srivastava said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a charge sheet a couple of days ago against 16 foreign-based Khalistanis in the referendum 2020 case and the list includes Pamma.

"As of now, I understand further investigation is going on in this case as well as in earlier cases. Whatever action is required, will be taken," he said.

Farmers in India are protesting the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

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