NIA takes over probe into attack on Indian mission in London
18 April, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
NIA took over the case to investigate the matter nearly a month after the national flag at the Indian high commission in London was pulled down during a protest by pro-Khalistan activists.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case to investigate the matter nearly a month after the national flag at the Indian high commission in London was pulled down during a protest by pro-Khalistan activists, according to ANI.
According to reports, the case was handed over to the NIA a few days ago by the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Counter Terrorism and Counter Radicalization (CTCR) division. On the orders of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the anti-terror agency filed a First Information Report (FIR) and began its investigation.
The case was taken over by the agency from Delhi Police, which had filed a FIR under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and was currently investigating it.
The MHA decided to turn over the case to the NIA after meeting with UK representatives last week.
A special NIA team, including a Deputy Inspector General rank officer, is expected to visit London “very soon,” according to ANI citing its source familiar with the situation.
On March 19, a group of protesters waving separatist Khalistani flags and chanting pro-Khalistani slogans seized a tricolour flying atop the Indian High Commission in London.
During the protest, pro-Khalistani elements tore down the national flag. Several protesters were seen carrying the yellow and black Khalistan flag and calling for radical Sikh preacher and Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh to be “freed” in videos of the incident.
To the delight of the other men, one of the protesters climbed onto a balcony and removed the Indian flag from a pole in front of the high commission. British police officers arrived on the scene and prevented the protestors from approaching the Indian High Commission’s entrance. The videos showed protesters shouting slogans and abusing Indian officials.
In August 2019, the Centre amended the NIA Act, allowing the agency to investigate terror activities against Indians and Indian interests abroad in addition to cybercrime and human trafficking.