LONDON: Indian community groups here plan to reach out directly to British Prime Minister Theresa May for action within three weeks against protestors responsible for the desecration of India's national flag during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's UK visit last month.
On April 18, during the bilateral leg of Modi's visit to the UK, some protesters at Parliament Square turned aggressive during which the Indian Tricolour was torn down from one of the official flagpoles set up for all 53 Commonwealth countries to mark the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and ripped up by some protesters.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said the Indian government was "deeply anguished" over the incident.
"We expect action, including legal action, against the people involved in the incident and also people responsible for instigating the incident," an MEA spokesperson said at the time.
The Scotland Yard had registered a case of assault in relation to the incident and continues to investigate.
"We received an allegation of assault on April 19 relating to an incident in Parliament Square on April 18.
Enquiries continue," a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, an online petition on change.
org website launched by the Friends of India Society International (FISI) in UK demanding action against the "culprits who brought down Indian flag and torn under the watchful eyes of British police" has attracted nearly 22,000 of the 25,000 target signatures.
"We are preparing a detailed presentation, including all the evidence gathered from social media and other sources, and will be handing it over for the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street on Monday," said Pravin Patel, of the Sardar Patel Memorial Society.
His group has found the backing of a senior Indian Supreme Court advocate, E V Venugopal, who has set a timeline of three weeks for the British government to take decisive action after which he plans to take the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as a "crime against humanity".
"We will knock on the doors of justice and make our representation to the British government.
We don't ask for sympathy.
We want action against this hate crime, as per the law of the land.
The pride of my country is at stake," Venugopal said.
Based on social media evidence, the group wants the British government to take action against the pro-Khalistani groups behind the incident.
"These Khalistani elements are encouraging terrorism on this soil.
This conspiracy of terrorist groups should be highlighted because they are waging war against India which can spill over into England as well," added Venugopal.
The perpetrators, caught on camera with the tricolour, were pro-Khalistani demonstrators brought together with Kashmiri separatist groups under the banner of the so-called "Minorities Against Modi" group, led by Pakistani-origin peer Lord Ahmed.
A UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesperson said the UK government had been in touch with the Indian High Commission soon after the incident.
"While people have the right to hold peaceful protests, we are disappointed with the action taken by a small minority in Parliament Square and contacted High Commissioner Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha as soon as we were made aware," a spokesperson said.
A senior broadcast journalist from one of the leading Indian media channels covering the protests was also caught up in the scrum and has had her police complaint with the Met Police registered as a hate crime.
On Monday, veteran Indian-origin MP Virendra Sharma has called a meeting over the issue in a House of Commons committee room to evaluate further steps.
Venugopal and other Indian community groups are planning to join that meeting following their Downing Street visit.
"They have tried to create an atmosphere of hate in this country, which respects freedom of speech.
The use of British land by such disruptive elements should not be left unchecked because it could lead to worse scenarios and escalate further," said Dr Anand Arya, spokesperson for the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP).
The Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB), an umbrella body of over 400 Hindu organisations in the UK, has also written to the UK Home Secretary calling for action against the Lord Ahmed and Sikh Federation UK for the "hate crime" against British citizens during the protests.
The Sikh Federation, UK termed the entire incident an "over reaction" to an "impromptu removal of the Indian flag".