Sunday's Sikh rally in London seeks to propagate secessionism: India

The strong comments by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) came days after the UK turned down India's request to not allow the rally to take place.

Published: 10th August 2018 02:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2018 02:44 AM   |  A+A-

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. (Photo | Raveesh Kumar Twitter)


NEW DELHI: India today said it has conveyed to the UK that the pro-Khalistan rally to be held in London on August 12 will be "separatists' activity" aimed at impinging on India's territorial integrity.

The strong comments by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) came days after the UK turned down India's request to not allow the rally to take place.

MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India has drawn the UK's attention to the fact that the event is a "separatists' activity which impinges on India's territorial integrity".

"We have said that it seeks to propagate violence, secessionism and hatred and we expect them to take into account the larger perspective of the relationship when they take a decision on such matters," Kumar said during a media briefing.

After receiving information about plans to hold similar events in certain other places in Europe and elsewhere, the MEA has written to Indian missions in those countries to take up the issue with local governments.

"We are aware that something similar is planned in some other locations as well. We have written to our mission to take it up with foreign offices of respective countries," said Kumar.

Britain's left-wing Green Party has already thrown its support behind the pro-Khalistan rally planned at Trafalgar Square in London on Sunday.

India registered its formal opposition to the event through a demarche when news of the rally emerged in July.

Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) says the rally is intended to raise awareness for a non-binding referendum in 2020, calling for the Sikh-majority state of Punjab to be granted independence.

The SFJ calls itself an advocacy group.

Asked about certain Bollywood and sports personalities saying they would seek government's advice on visiting Pakistan to attend Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony, Kumar said the government has not got any communication, adding if approached it will give its view.

Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar had on Sunday said he will take the government's advice before deciding on attending his once cricket rival's swearing-in as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Replying to a separate question, Kumar said India was exploring the possibility of operating and managing the Mattala international airport in Sri Lanka.

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