Sari-clad women with dhols welcome Prime Minister Modi in UK
Hundreds of demonstrators chanting slogans in favor of India's development and against "atrocities" taking place in the country have greeted PM Narendra Modi as he landed in the UK for a four-day visit. A flash mob of sari-clad women with dhols set the tone for the pro-Modi crowds when he arrived for a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday. Here's more.
Indian diaspora from across UK welcomes PM Modi
Sari-clad women were joined by the Friends of India Society International (FISI) group, which spearheaded a crowd of Indian diaspora from across the UK waving banners such as "Chak De India" and "Jai Hind" outside 10 Downing Street and nearby Parliament Square. "We want to welcome the PM to the UK and show him the diaspora support he enjoys," said one of the members.
A group of people raised anti-Modi banners in UK
On the other side, anti-Modi protesters from Caste Watch UK and South Asia Solidarity group waved banners such as "Modi, you have blood on your hands" and "Modi Not Welcome". "Hindu nationalism must be curtailed to avert India sliding towards wholesale dictatorship threatening democratic fabric, rule of law and the unity of India," a Caste Watch UK spokesperson said.
Protesters were demanding justice for Kathua rape victim
Anti-Modi protesters were joined by other protesters carrying images the eight-year-old rape victim from Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and Gauri Lankesh, the Indian journalist who was shot at her doorstep last year. The group also included representatives of several Indian women's groups in the UK, wearing white as part of their silent protest against "atrocities that are taking place in India".
Pro-Khalistani group also demonstrated against PM
Some pro-Khalistani demonstrators from Sikh Federation UK and demonstrators from so-called "Minorities against Modi" group, led by Pakistani-origin peer Lord Ahmed, completed the congregation at Parliament Square. At one point, some protesters surrounded the Mahatma Gandhi statue at the square with yellow Khalistani flags. Indian officials involved in organizing the prime ministerial visit said that protests are "part and parcel of any democratic society".