'My conscience was shocked': Student who protected Indian flag during Khalistani protest in London speaks out
An Indian student, Satyam Surana, describes his motivation for protecting the Indian flag during a Khalistani protest outside the Indian High Commission in London, highlighting the importance of defending the tricolour's dignity.
Indian student, Satyam Surana, who made an attempt to safeguard the Indian flag during a Khalistani protest outside the Indian High Commission in London on October 2, 2023, expressed his dismay at witnessing the flag being disrespected in such a manner. His sense of duty and conscience compelled him to protect the tricolour.
Satyam, a student at the London School of Economics, recounted, "I saw the Indian flag was being demeaned, went behind the police lady who had stepped on the flag intentionally. I picked up the flag and I just moved away then."
He continued, "I had never seen the Indian flag being demeaned this way. My inner self, my mind, my conscience were shocked to see how this could happen. That's what motivated, persuaded me to go forward and do what I did."
The incident occurred on Gandhi Jayanthi day, as Khalistani protestors were separated on either side of the street from the Indian High Commission in London. However, a group of protestors managed to breach the barricades and entered the HCI side with an Indian flag and a bottle they claimed contained 'cow urine.'
These Khalistan supporters claimed that they were protesting the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who had been designated as a terrorist in India. One of the protestors delivered an anti-India and anti-Sunak speech in front of the HCI London and then threw the Indian flag onto the ground.
Satyam was present nearby when this occurred. He rushed forward as soon as the Khalistanis made their move and retrieved the Indian flag from the street. Some of the Khalistanis became agitated by his actions and began cursing him. Metropolitan police officers at the scene intervened to defuse the situation and protect Satyam, leading him to safety.
A video of Satyam picking up the Indian flag from the ground went viral after being posted on social media by former Advisor to the UK Government, Colin Bloom.
Reflecting on the incident, Satyam explained, "There was a protest going on outside the Indian High Commission, and when I went to see what was happening, I realized it was a protest by the pro-Khalistan group. These people were chanting slogans, and the protest was underway."
He continued, "I noticed some people were walking around with the national flag on their feet, and there was a significant amount of disrespect and insult directed towards the Indian national flag. That's why I stayed back and observed the entire protest."
Satyam mentioned that after some time, a group of people approached the Indian High Commission with the flag in their hands and proceeded to place it on the ground, desecrating it. It was then that he followed his instinct and rescued the flag. He added that while his parents are concerned about his safety, they are proud of his actions.
"All of my friends are very proud, super proud. I am telling them that I have just exercised my duty as an Indian citizen, and I did what my conscience guided me to do. I would never hesitate to serve my nation or protect its dignity," Satyam stated.
This protest by Khalistan supporters occurred shortly after a planned interaction between Indian High Commissioner to Britain, Vikram Doraiswami, and the Gurudwara Committee in Glasgow was deliberately disrupted by three individuals from outside Scotland. The Indian High Commission reported the incident to the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) and the Metropolitan Police.
The High Commission's statement noted, "On September 29, 2023, three persons - all from areas outside Scotland - deliberately disrupted a planned interaction organized by the Gurudwara Committee for the community, the High Commissioner, and the Consul General of India. The organizers included senior community leaders, ladies and Committee members, and a member of the Scottish Parliament. They were threatened and abused by these elements. In an effort to prevent any potential altercation, the HC and CG decided to leave the premises shortly upon their arrival."
Several community organizations, including the organizers, expressed regret over the incident and called on authorities to take action against the culprits.