19 March 2023

Man arrested after violence and smashed windows at Indian High Commission

19 March 2023

A man has been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder after a crowd incident saw windows smashed at the Indian High Commission in London.

Metropolitan Police officers were called to the building in Aldwych, Westminster, at around 1.50pm on Sunday, and two security guards sustained minor injuries.

Footage posted on social media showed a man detach the Indian flag from the first-floor balcony of the building while a crowd of people below waving bright yellow “Khalistan” banners appeared to encourage him.

They are believed to be supporters of a Sikh separatist movement seeking to create a new homeland or breakaway state.

The Met has launched an investigation into the incident.

A spokesperson said: “Windows were broken at the High Commission building.

“Two members of security staff sustained injuries. These are believed to be minor; they did not require hospital treatment.

“Officers attended the location. The majority of those present had dispersed prior to the arrival of police.

“An investigation was launched, and one male was arrested nearby a short time later on suspicion of violent disorder. Inquiries continue.”

The incident was denounced on Twitter by London mayor Sadiq Khan, Foreign Office minister Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, and the British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis.

Mr Khan said: “I condemn the violent disorder and vandalism that took place at the Indian High Commission today.

“There is no place in our city for this kind of behaviour.

“An investigation has been launched by the Met into today’s events.”

Lord Ahmad wrote: “Am appalled by today’s attack on the Indian High Commission in London.

“This is a completely unacceptable action against the integrity of the Mission and its staff.

“The UK Government will always take the security of the Indian High Commission seriously.”

Mr Ellis said: “I condemn the disgraceful acts today against the people and premises of the @HCI_London – totally unacceptable.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox