UK announces funding to tackle ‘pro-Khalistan’ extremism as MEA flags ‘security threat’

The UK announced additional funding to “tackle pro-Khalistan extremism on Friday amid growing security concerns. India has repeatedly urged UK to take action against extremist and radical elements – especially in the wake of attacks against the Indian High Commission in London earlier this year. The fund of around 1 crore was announced following a meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and UK Security Minister Tom Tugendhat in Delhi.

The 95,000 pound investment is intended to enhance the government’s understanding of the threat posed by “pro-Khalistan extremism”, complementing the joint work already underway between the UK and India through the joint-extremism task force. New Delhi has batted for the UK government to ensure security of its diplomatic premises and its  personnel. 

“The issue of security…is an ongoing conversation that we have with the UK side, on steps that we feel that UK government and all host governments must take to protect our diplomatic premises, security of our personnel,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a briefing.

Tugendhat began a three-day visit to India on Thursday to bolster bilateral cooperation on security initiatives. He will also attend the third G20 Anti-Corruption Ministerial Meeting in Kolkata on Saturday.

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With Independence Day looming, Bagchi also touched upon threats by the pro-Khalistani elements in London. He however refused to comment on the newly announced fund, dubbing it an ‘internal matter’.

“In the context of 15th August, we always have additional measures that we request. But in this case, in some cases, we have seen some threats, but I don’t want to discuss security measures per se…Certainly, we have been emphasising the need for the UK side to take action against extremist and radical elements, particularly those who are inciting violence and posing a security threat,” Bagchi added.

“A deeper partnership between our two nations means we can more effectively tackle the security threats we both face. I’m committed to working together to enhance our understanding of and capabilities against extremism, whatever form it takes,” Tugendhat had said earlier in the day.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 12 Aug 2023, 05:25 AM IST

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