Scotland Yard readies ‘plan’ to deal with protests ahead of Modi’s visit

LONDON: The Scotland Yard has put in place a “policing plan” to deal with protests scheduled by several groups during the forthcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Britain his first since 2003, which also witnessed protests, Indian media reported.


A representative for the Scotland Yard told Indian media on Sunday that, “An appropriate policing plan is in place. We are in dialogue with various protest groups to facilitate their requests.”

Groups protesting on the day of the visit include various Sikh organisations. The visit is seen as a chance to help “break down the wall between the Indian state and Sikhs residing outside India”, as the Sikh Human Rights (SHR) Group said.

The group has already sent five proposals to New Delhi, including annulling “blacklists” of Sikhs living abroad who cannot travel to India, release of prisoners that are being held for political reasons, and a discussion between the Indian government and Sikhs living abroad.

There is concern in official circles about the security aspect of Modi’s visit, after a Sikh demonstration at the Indian High Commission last week led to violence and traffic disturbance in central London.

Most of the protests are scheduled for November 12, the first day of Modi’s three-day visit. Awaaz UK, a collective of several campaign groups that was also in the forefront during Modi’s 2003 visit, has declared a day of protests.

After protesting outside 10 Downing Street, where Modi is due to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Awaaz UK protest will move to nearby Parliament Square, where the Indian premier is said to pay respects at the Gandhi statue and later address MPs in the parliament.