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    Keeping our people across the world safe


    The recent incident in Glasgow, where Indian officials were prevented from meeting Sikh leaders, highlights the growing targeting of Indian missions and officials abroad. The British government's swift response is a positive sign, but the Indian government must take action to ensure the safety and security of its diplomats.

    Keeping Our People Across the World SafeET Bureau
    Representative image.
    Last week, Indian high commissioner to Britain Vikram Doraiswami and an official were prevented from disembarking from their car by three protesters when they had gone to meet Sikh leaders at a Glasgow gurdwara. This incident comes on the heels of a slow ramping up of activities targeting Indian missions and officials abroad, particularly in Canada, Britain and the US. The latest incident in Scotland shows that groups with agendas inimical to India's interest are willing to risk exposure to make their views public. The British government's quick response and unequivocal commitment to prioritising the safety and security of envoys is a good sign. It should serve as a warning to groups that mean harm to our diplomatic corps. Still, Glasgow-type incidents should raise a flag and GoI must act right and fast.

    India should make it clear to all countries, especially to friendly countries, that the safety and security of its diplomats and missions cannot be compromised in the name of freedom of speech or the right to protest. Last week, foreign minister S Jaishankar was spot on when he rhetorically asked if such incidents against diplomats had happened to any other country 'how would they react?'

    GoI must review guidelines for its officials in missions with the presence of anti-India groups and their sympathisers. This should include stepping up security, improved intelligence gathering and regular interaction with the state apparatus as well as local authorities and media. It must also increase its engagement with countries with hostile presence by mainstreaming its point of view on the dangers such groups pose even to the host country, not just India. This is particularly important as more Indians travel, study, work, and live abroad.

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