Wednesday, July 26, 2017

UK: Birmingham Council caves to Indian High Commission pressure, bans Kashmir martyr rally


The council has now withdrawn its backing and cancelled the gathering after concerns were raised about the posters and after the Indian government made an official objection to the UK.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Birmingham Mail
By Elis Sandford | July 5, 2017

Leading separatist Burhan Wani, 22, was killed in the disputed region one year ago this weekend

A Birmingham rally to commemorate the death of a Kashmiri separatist leader has been banned just days before it was due to take place.

Burhan Wani, 22, was killed in the disputed region one year ago this weekend, when he was commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen separatist group.

His death in the Indian-controlled Northern Kashmir sparked violent protests, leaving dozens more dead.

Wani had been a leader of Hizbul Mujahideen, a Kashmir separatist group which has reportedly been classed as a terrorist organisation by the European Union, the US and India.

Birmingham City Council initially gave permission for the memorial rally, named in Wani’s honour, to be held in Victoria Square on Saturday.

Posters circulated on social media advertising the event carried a picture of the late commander and said: “We will take back what is ours forcefully. We will not rest until Kashmir is free from Kuffars and hoist the flag of Islamic Ummah.”

Rally was planned this weekend

But the council has now withdrawn its backing and cancelled the gathering after concerns were raised about the posters and after the Indian government made an official objection to the UK.

A Birmingham Council spokesman said: “We took a booking for a peaceful rally highlighting the human rights abuse in Kashmir. However, we are now aware of concerns raised about the promotional leaflet and, having assessed the material, have not given permission for the use of Victoria Square.”

Reports in India said Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, Dinesh Patnaik lodged a formal complaint to the Foreign Office. He had said: “Allowing anti-India elements to flourish here in the name of democracy will not do.”

Organisers of the proposed rally were unavailable for comment.

A Kashmir rally took place in Birmingham last August (see video at top). Around 60 demonstrators protested outside Birmingham’s Indian Embassy.



Read original post here: UK: Birmingham Council caves to Indian High Commission pressure, bans Kashmir martyr rally


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