Isolate Khalistani supporters: BJP after pulling down of Indian flag in London

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A screen grab of the video shows Khalistani supporters pulling down the Indian flag and displaying photos of Amritpal Singh.

New Delhi: BJP on Monday appealed to the Sikh bodies to “isolate” Khalistani supporters as the search for Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh entered its third day.

The police had planned to arrest Amritpal at Mehatpur on the Jalandhar-Moga Road on Saturday. He, however, evaded them and left his vehicle and mobile phone near Nakodar, The Indian Express reported quoting sources.

In a statewide crackdown, the police arrested 78 of his associates Saturday. The hunt for Amritpal continued for the second day with district police chiefs carrying out flag marches in major towns in Punjab and the state government extending internet suspension till Monday noon.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the party Sikh leader, told reporters that everybody must condemn the London incident in which some Khalistani supporters pulled down the Indian flag from the Indian High Commission building in London.

The protests over the crackdown started last evening. Cellphone videos posted on social media showed protesters climbing the building and taking down the Indian flag.

In Australia’s Brisbane, pro-Khalistan groups carried out what they called a referendum on Khalistan.

On Sunday, India summoned the British deputy high commissioner and demanded an explanation over the complete “absence of security” after videos of pulling down of the Indian flag at the Indian mission in London during a protest by Khalistani supporters emerged on social media.

In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India finds “unacceptable” the indifference of the UK government to the security of Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in the UK.

British Deputy High Commissioner Christina Scott was summoned to the MEA in view of the incident as High Commissioner Alex Ellis was out of Delhi, sources said.

“The senior-most UK diplomat in New Delhi was summoned late evening today to convey India’s strong protest at the actions taken by separatist and extremist elements against the Indian High Commission in London earlier in the day,” the MEA said.

“An explanation was demanded for the complete absence of the British security that allowed these elements to enter the high commission premises,” it said.

The MEA said the diplomat was reminded of the basic obligations of the UK government under the Vienna Convention.

“India finds unacceptable the indifference of the UK government to the security of Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in the UK,” the MEA said.

It sought immediate steps to identify, arrest and prosecute those involved in today’s incident.

“It is expected that the UK government would take immediate steps to identify, arrest and prosecute each one of those involved in today’s incident, and put in place stringent measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents,” the MEA added.

In a tweet, High Commissioner Ellis said, “I condemn the disgraceful acts today against the people and premises of the @HCI_London – totally unacceptable.”

Images of shattered windows and men climbing the India House building were circulating on social media and videos from the scene showed an Indian official grabbing the flag from a protester through the first-floor window of the mission, while the protester was seen waving a Khalistani flag hanging off its ledge.

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