India asked Britain to increase surveillance of UK-based supporters for a Sikh separatist group, as it claims they are abusing the asylum system in order to support “terrorist activities” in South Asia.
The Indian government stated that it had raised concerns about the misuse of the UK’s asylum status by pro-Khalistani elements in order to aid and facilitate terrorist activities in India at a meeting held in New Delhi.
It comes after violence at the Indian High Commission last month in London, which saw its windows smashed. A Khalistani flag replaced India’s national flag also known as the Tricolour.
The protestors are either Khalistani supporters or Sikh separatists who want to create a new state in Punjab, north India.
India condemned the protests as a breach of security, while James Cleverly, the UK Foreign Secretary, stated that security at the building will be reviewed after “unacceptable acts” of violence towards staff.
Jas Singh, a Sikh Federation UK adviser, stated: “It is very concerning that the UK government considers any action at the behest a foreign government. All of which is designed remove democratic civil liberties for UK residents.
“It is legal for individuals to advocate for an independent homeland, regardless of whether it’s in the UK and abroad.”
Concerning the attack on the Indian High Commission, he stated that the attacker did not represent the UK’s Sikh community.
Sky News spoke to Lord Indarjit Singh of the Network of Sikh Organisations about how demonstrations outside the High Commission were noisy, ill-tempered, and played into the hands of people who want to paint us [Sikhs] anti-Indian.”
Three officials stated Monday that talks regarding a free trade agreement between India & Britain had not been suspended. They will continue this year.
According to a report, India was “disengaged” in the talks after the UK failed condemn Sikh separatists.
Protests in India are common with police and Khalistani supporters clashing. Amritpal Sing, a prominent separatist leader, is still on the run, with many of his followers being arrested.
India has banned the Khalistan movement and its affiliated groups. Officials consider them a national security risk.
Amritpal Singh claimed to have been inspired by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a Sikh militant leader who is accused by the Indian government as leading an insurgency for Khalistan.
Bhindranwale, his friends and supporters were killed when the Indian army stormed Golden Temple, which is the most sacred shrine of the Sikh religion.