LONDON: Four pro-Khalistan protesters have managed to evade heavy security to enter Rahul Gandhi’s event at the Ramada Hotel conference centre in South Ruislip in West London and spent hours alongside more than 1,500 Person Of Indian Origin (PIO) Congress supporters and British Indian MPs.
The protesters — three men and one woman — were escorted out of the hotel by the police on Saturday night. They later told TOI that they were protesting against Gandhi’s Friday’s remarks on the . The incident is seen as a major security breach.
At the International Institute for Strategic Studies here on Friday, in response to a question on the 1984 riots, Gandhi had said: “It was a tragedy and painful experience. I don’t agree Congress was involved.”
With the crowd chanting “Desh ka neta kaisa ho? jaisa ho!”, “Rahul Zindabad!”, “Congress is for everyone” and “Congress is for India”, the police escorted the four out of the venue, shouting “Khalistan Zindabad”, just half an hour before the Congress president took to the stage on Saturday night. Barely minutes before the incident, organisers of the Indian Overseas Congress event had come on stage and said, “There are some people here who have not registered. Please would you kindly leave?”
Shamsher Singh, spokesperson for the National Sikh Youth Federation, told TOI: “We are protesting against Congress and remarks made by Rahul Gandhi on Friday that the party was not involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. This was a massacre, a genocide, organised pogroms against Sikhs and no one has been found guilty. Sikhs hold Congress responsible for Operation Blue Star and the riots.”
Singh said he and his three associates had gate-crashed. “We slipped in through a side door to the venue at 5.30pm as the security was lax. Once inside, security asked us a few questions but we confidently walked through and said we are here for the event. We got a table and sat down.”
Sudhakar Goud, an IOC UK spokesman, said: “We are investigating the matter”.
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