London mayor gives nod, pro-Khalistan rally tomorrow

LONDON: London mayor has given permission for a to be held at on Sunday between 3pm and 6pm. A pro-India rally scheduled at the same place on the same day between 1pm and 4pm has been disallowed.

A spokesperson for the mayor confirmed to TOI that the pro-India counter-protest was not allowed to go ahead as it did not have necessary permissions.

The pro-Khalistan rally, called , is being organised by US-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ). The purpose of the rally, which is to be addressed by ex-MP George Galloway, is to kick-start a campaign for a non-binding referendum on Punjab‘s independence in 2020.

On the other hand, the pro-India rally was being advertised mainly on Facebook. A group called “We Indians”, which was formed six months ago, claimed on social media that it would organise an event called “We Stand with India” to “celebrate 71 years of India‘s Independence” at the same place on Sunday.

Though the group said the event was being organised to celebrate India‘s independence, its convenor Manoj Khanna told TOI that his event was to double as a counter-protest to SFJ‘s London Declaration.

When asked what would happen if the pro-India group still turns up, the spokesperson said, “They have not applied for permission to host an event there so they would be asked to move along by security. Any event that takes place in Trafalgar Square has to have permission.”

But Khanna told TOI: “We don‘t need permission because we are not doing anything official. We are not having a rally, we are just celebrating Independence Day. ”
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