On the auspicious occasion of Diwali, over 40 thousand British Pakistani citizens plan to march from Richmond Terrace near Downing Street and converge outside the Indian High Commission in London.
Condemning the plans to hold an anti-India march on the occasion of Diwali next Sunday (27 October), the London Mayor Sadiq Khan was reported saying that it would deepen divisions in the UK capital and called on the organisers and prospective participants to cancel the protest rally, reports India Defence News.
An estimated 40,000 protesters are to participate in a ‘Free-Kashmir’ march and permission is being sought for the same after after Pakistan’s ministry of interior announced had made an announced last month for declaring 27 October as a Black Day.
The Diwali day protest march will be attended by Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) President, Sardar Masood Khan, and PoK Prime Minister Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan.
The London Mayor has said that his City Hall office would be working with Scotland Yard to ensure a robust policing plan was in place for such a march.
It must be recalled that a similar protest with chants of “Allahu-Akbar” had turned into violent clashes outside the Indian mission on 15 August.
“As you know, the power to ban marches of this nature lies solely with the Home Secretary, not with me as the Mayor of London. I am copying this letter to both the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, so they can clearly see the extent of my concerns about this march” added Khan.
Khan further said, “I understand why many British Indians are so deeply concerned. Many have felt deeply threatened and worried since the previous protests outside the Indian High Commission. I can assure all Londoners that anyone who acts unlawfully will be accountable to the police.”
A renewed wave of resentments among British Indian community had come over when the Labour Party had unanimously passed the controversial Kashmir Resolution in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 in J&K.
The 25 September motion on Kashmir seeks international observers to "enter" the region and demand the right of self-determination for its people, drawing criticism from the Indian diaspora.
“It’s obvious that the Labour Party are either oblivious or just could not give a damn about the concerns of our community and the damage being done to UK-India relations,” said Manoj Ladwa, a UK-based media executive.
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