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Police warning as protesters descend on central London for Indian farmer demonstration


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rotesters who descended on the Indian High Commission in central London have been warned by police not to break covid laws.

The demonstration  is against farming reform in India and banners saying “justice for farmers” were held aloft outside India House in Holborn.  

Protesters let off orange smoke bombs and a group on motorcycles revved their engines as police lined the road outside the high commission.Police warned that demonstrators were required to social distance and abide by emergency covid-19 laws.  One man has been arrested. 

The Metropolitan Police warned people at the Indian High Commission on Sunday that they risk being fined if they break coronavirus restrictions, and urged protesters to leave the area.

Organisers said thousands of people were descending on London for the protest. The Sikh UK Federation tweeted a video of the protest, showing dozens of people outside the Indian High Commission waving flags and chanting.

In the tweet, it said: “Seige of the Indian High Commission in London in support of farmers peacefully protesting in Delhi.”

Commander Paul Brogden, of Met Police, said: “I would strongly urge anyone who is planning to come to the Aldwych area to reconsider.

“I would also encourage anyone who is currently in attendance to leave the area.

“Our officers will take the appropriate action where necessary.”

In a statement the Met said a “robust policing plan” was in place and would make arrests if necessary.

Commander Paul Brogden, said: “Although London has now moved to Tier Two, the capital remains in the midst of a pandemic; it is vital that we all play our part in the fight against Covid-19.

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British Sikhs gather to protest against India’s new farming legislation outside the High Commission of India in London

/ REUTERS )

“If you attend a gathering that breaches the regulations, you may be committing an offence, which is punishable by a fine. In certain circumstances, if you hold a gathering of over 30 persons and you do not meet the requirements of the regulations you might be committing a different offence, which is also punishable by a fine.

“I would strongly urge anyone who is planning to come to the Aldwych area to reconsider. I would also encourage anyone who is currently in attendance to leave the area.

“Our officers will take the appropriate action where necessary.”

It follows a  man being  handed a £10,000 fine on October 4 for breach of the COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings following a similar “Kisaan Rally” organised in west London “in solidarity” with farmers in Punjab.

Officers will remain in the area and are currently advising motorists to avoid Fleet Street, Strand and Waterloo Bridge.



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