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Man arrested after window smashed at Indian high commission in London

A man has been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder after crowds gathered and a window was smashed at the Indian high commission in London.

Metropolitan police officers were called to the building in Aldwych, Westminster at about 1.50pm on Sunday, and two security guards sustained minor injuries.

Footage posted on social media showed a man detaching the Indian flag from the first-floor balcony of the building while a crowd of people below waving bright yellow “Khalistan” banners appeared to encourage him. They are believed to be supporters of a Sikh separatist movement seeking to create a new homeland or breakaway state.

Outside the Indian high commission in Aldwych, central London early on Sunday afternoon. Photograph: Twitter

The Met has launched an investigation into the incident. A spokesperson said: “Windows were broken at the high commission building. Two members of security staff sustained injuries. These are believed to be minor; they did not require hospital treatment.

“Officers attended the location. The majority of those present had dispersed prior to the arrival of police.

“An investigation was launched, and one male was arrested nearby a short time later on suspicion of violent disorder. Inquiries continue.”

The incident was denounced on Twitter by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, Foreign Office minister Lord Ahmad and the British high commissioner to India, Alex Ellis.

Khan said: “I condemn the violent disorder and vandalism that took place at the Indian high commission today. There is no place in our city for this kind of behaviour. An investigation has been launched by the Met into today’s events.”

Ahmad wrote: “Am appalled by today’s attack on the Indian high commission in London. This is a completely unacceptable action against the integrity of the Mission and its staff. The UK Government will always take the security of the Indian high commission seriously.”

Ellis said: “I condemn the disgraceful acts today against the people and premises of the @HCI_London – totally unacceptable.”

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