London: With a number of protests planned during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UK visit this week, Scotland Yard has said an “appropriate” policing plan is in place but no restrictions have been imposed on any London routes. The elite force declined to comment in detail due to security reasons but said that no restrictions on any London routes have been planned so far, indicating the protests are unlikely to involve large crowds.
“An appropriate policing plan is in place. We are in dialogue with various protest groups to facilitate their requests. No restrictions have been placed on the route,” a Metropolitan Police statement said.
A number of UK-based groups have announced plans to organise protests during the visit, including outside Wembley Stadium on November 13 when Modi will be making his address to a 60,000-strong Indian diaspora audience alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Dalit rights group CasteWatchUK, Awaaz human rights network and South Asia Solidarity are among some of the groups planning protests. CasteWatchUK is likely to organise a demonstration when the Indian Prime Minister inaugurates a new Ambedkar memorial in north London on November 14.
Awaaz Network is planning a ‘Not In Our Name’ protest and one protest is also being mobilised by British filmmaker Leslie Udwin demanding India to lift its ban on her documentary ‘India’s Daughter’. “Indian Prime Minister Modi comes to London on a state visit around 12th November, and on 13th November he is addressing a massive crowd at Wembley Stadium. I would love to see hundreds (if not thousands) of protesters, holding placards calling for him to lift the shameful ban on the film, and lift the shame off India,” Udwin said.
South Asia Solidarity is organising a ‘Reclaim Diwali’ series of scheduled protests against Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK next week with the social media hashtag of ‘#ModiNotWelcome’. Modi arrives in London on November 12 and a lunch with Queen Elizabeth II along with a host of engagements with his British counterpart David Cameron form part of his hectic schedule.
A visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Parliament Square, an interaction with Indian-origin and other parliamentarians at a reception hosted by the Speaker in the British Parliament, a visit to the Tata Motors’ owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) factory, unveiling of a new Ambedkar memorial in north London and a new statue of 12th century Indian philosopher Basaveshwara are on Modi’s agenda before he leaves for Ankara to attend the G20 summit on November 14.