Cracking Down On Khalistani Elements: NIA Team Heads To London To Probe Attack On Indian High Commission

Cracking Down On Khalistani Elements: NIA Team Heads To London To Probe Attack On Indian High Commission

by Swarajya Staff - Wednesday, May 24, 2023 02:56 PM IST
Cracking Down On Khalistani Elements: NIA Team Heads To London To Probe Attack On Indian High CommissionKhalistani elements outside Indian High Commission in London.

A team from National Investigation Agency, investigating the protest by pro-Khalistani elements outside the Indian High Commission in London, left for the UK after meeting with UK intelligence officials in Delhi on Tuesday, reports The Indian Express.

As per the report, a High Commission staff claimed he was assaulted by a protester attempting to bring down the flag during the protest. The mob outside caused significant damage to the mission's property.

During the fifth India-UK Home Affairs Dialogue (HAD) in Delhi on 12 April, India expressed worries over pro-Khalistani elements misusing the UK’s asylum status to support terrorist activities in India.

The meeting, led by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla for India and Permanent Secretary, Home Office, Matthew Rycroft for the UK, was attended by several senior officials from both sides.

According to the report, Intelligence agency officials from the UK, R&AW, and NIA held a meeting on Monday to discuss the issue of anti-India activities in the UK, including Pro-Khalistan extremism.

“Following the India-UK Home Affairs Dialogue last month, intelligence agency officials of the UK and India decided to meet and discuss the pro-Khalistan elements. The R&AW officials raised several issues, including increasing monitoring of UK-based pro-Khalistan extremists. They also discussed the breach of security of the Indian High Commission and also about Avtar Singh, alias Khanda,” a source told TIE.

The Union Home Ministry ordered NIA to file a new case regarding the attack and instructed Delhi Police, who filed an FIR under UAPA, to transfer the investigation to NIA, last month.

The decision to investigate a terror link involving Pakistan's ISI was made after a preliminary investigation. An NIA team has departed for London to collect CCTV footage, examine the crime scene, and interview senior officials, said the report.

Kiran Kumar Vasant Bhosale, an assistant personnel and welfare officer at the High Commission, registered a First Information Report (FIR) with Delhi Police, alleging that on the afternoon of 19 March, he witnessed a group of approximately 50 to 60 protesters carrying yellow flags typically used by Khalistani separatists during his usual security check.

According to Bhosale's statement in the FIR, he immediately contacted the Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG) via an emergency call to notify them of the situation.

“I saw one Avtar Singh, alias Khanda, and one Gurcharan Singh… (both) frequently seen near the High Commission. They were among the leaders of the violent mob and were instigating it by shouting anti-India and pro-Khalistan slogans,” Bhosale said.

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