LONDON: Khalistan supporters entered an event where Congress president was to address his last public meeting in the UK and tried to disrupt it but were escorted out by Scotland Yard before his arrival.
Three men and one woman managed to bypass heavy security, and gatecrashed the event. They sat at their own table at the side of the large conference hall of the Ramada Hotel, alongside more than 1,000 Indian-origin Congress supporters, waiting for Rahul Gandhi. The Congress party president was to appear to make his inaugural address to the UK‘s Indian diaspora. “We are angry over Rahul‘s remarks on Congress not being involved in 1984 anti-Sikh riots,” protesters told TOI.
The Khalistan supporters, who admitted they were planning to disrupt the UK Mega Conference, had been sitting for a few hours before organisers politely asked them to leave. When they refused to comply, the police were called. At about 7.45pm local time, a large group of police officers surrounded their table while the event was going on and warm-up speeches were being delivered. To keep disruption to a minimum, a singer sang loudly on the stage as the incident unfolded. After a short scuffle, the police escorted the four people out of the venue. The men, dressed in black, sporting beards and wearing black turbans, shouted “Khalistan Zindabad” as they were taken outside. Gandhi arrived approximately 30 minutes later after the group was removed and he addressed the diaspora in Hindi. He received a rapturous welcome.
TOI had reported last week how members of various right wing PIO community groups had planned, over Whatsapp, to disrupt this particular event by heckling or throwing tomatoes. The Indian Overseas Congress (UK) told TOI that they had hired two security firms and deployed police to ensure the Ramada Hotel event went smoothly.
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