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UK MP asks Boris Johnson to call off Diwali protests by pro-Pakistani groups

British MP demands Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the mayor to call off the proposed Diwali protest by Pro-Pakistani groups, outside High Commission of India, London, UK.

Member of Parliament — Bob Blackman — challenged PM Boris Johnson during the PMQ’s on the “actions” being taken by the government to “prevent violent protests outside the High Commission of India” on October 27. He also wrote a letter to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan that demands actions.

The October 27 Diwali protest is the third in line this year outside the High Commission of India. The first one on August 15 turned violent with the protestors throwing frozen water bottles; tomatoes; eggs etc at the Indians, including women, celebrating the Independence Day.

A few were injured on the day. Second time on the 3rd of September pro-pakistani supporters turned up and caused harm to the High Commission of India building. Both the times numbers of the protestors ran into thousands.

Many from the diaspora have asked the mayor to stop the protest.

A letter was written by Navin Shah, Member of London Assembly to Mayor Sadiq Khan. Sadiq Khan said, “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 full extent of my concerns about this March.”

Rajesh Agarwal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business, wrote to India Today, “I join mayor’s call to the organisers and participants to cancel the protest march on the auspicious day of Diwali outside the High Commission of India. It will further divide our communities.”

Acknowledging the receipt of mayor’s letter, Home Office in response to out mail said, “The management of demonstrations is an operational matter for the police. Neither home secretary nor the police have the power to ban a static protest and ministers cannot initiate bans on marches.”

Home Office though does have the power to contain a protest under Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986.

The conditions they can impose are on locations, duration or numbers attending in order to prevent serious public disorder, serious damage to property, or serious disruption to the life of the community.


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