LONDON: A protest demanding end of atrocities against Sikhs and Kashmiris by the Indian government turned violent here in central London, with at least three people injured and two arrested by Scotland Yard.
The protest was mainly organised by a host of Sikh organisations seeking release of Sikh prisoners in Indian jails. The Sikh demonstrators were supported by Kashmiri groups who also joined the protest carrying flags of Kashmir.
The Sikh protesters carried banners demanding the creation of Khalistan, and protested imprisonment of Sikh activists by Indian government for posting Facebook messages in support of Khalistan and detention and convictions of dozens of Sikhs on bogus charges.
The protesters said that amongst those detained by India were British nationals who were picked up and convicted during their visits to Punjab in India. They mentioned, in particular, Ranjit Singh, Surjit Singh and Arvinder Singh, who were jailed over Facebook posts.
The protest continued peacefully till a pro-Modi group arrived on the scene and started shouting abuses at the peaceful protesters and produced placards disrespectful of Sikh religious symbols.
In the clashes that followed, the whole of area around Holborn and the London School of Economics was brought to a standstill for sometime as dozens of police vans arrived to police the protest.
Bottles were thrown on Khalistani and Kashmiri protesters from Modi supporters and then the clashes started.
Activists from both sides exchanged fists and the Indian flag was brought down by Sikh protesters from outside the Indian High Commission. Three people were injured during the clashes.