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London resident arrested by NIA in Indian mission attack case

Inderpal Singh Gaba, a resident of Hounslow in west London, was arrested in India on Thursday.

Screenshot 2024 04 27 083820LONDON: A man who was arrested for unlawful activities by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as part of its investigations into the attack on the High Commission of India here in March 2023 had previously been detained at the Attari border while entering India from Pakistan last year.

Inderpal Singh Gaba, a resident of Hounslow in west London, was arrested in India on Thursday for committing offences under Section 13(1) of UA (P) Act, Section 2 of the Prevention of Insult of National Honour Act and Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), official sources here said.

There were two major violent protests in front of India House in London on March 19 and 22, 2023.

On March 19, a large group of protesters were found to have attacked Indian officials, damaged the High Commission building and insulted the Indian National Flag.

On March 22, they chanted anti-India slogans, insulted the Indian National Flag again and indulged in unlawful and threatening behaviour, according to the reports logged by the NIA following the incidents.

As part of the investigation, several suspects were examined, and seizures were made after conducting searches at 31 locations in Punjab and Rajasthan.

An investigation team of the NIA had also visited London, sources said. LOC [Look Out Circular] was opened against several suspects, including Inderpal Singh Gaba. Singh was detained at the Attari border on 09.12.2023 when he entered India from Pakistan. As part of the investigation, his mobile phone was seized and data was extracted and analysed. Investigation revealed that protests on 19.03.2023 and 22.03.2023 were part of the larger conspiracy to attack Indian missions and its officials, they said.

The violent protests in March last year were repeatedly raised in the British Parliament and there has since been a very visible Metropolitan Police security presence outside the High Commission of India in London. Singh has styled himself after slain Khalistani militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Singh, the chief of ‘Waris Punjab De’ outfit, is currently lodged at the Dibrugarh jail in Assam along with nine of his associates.

The NIA had in June last year released five videos and sought the help of the general public in identifying individuals involved in the violent protests. This had come after a team of the NIA visited London to get details of the case besides interacting with officials of Scotland Yard.

The federal agency took over the probe in April last year from the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, which had registered a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act as it involved illegal activities carried out by certain people holding Indian nationality abroad.

The government takes the protective security of the Indian High Commission extremely seriously,UK Security Minister Tom Tugendhat had told the House of Commons in the wake of the incident.

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