Activists have called for a Kashmir solidarity demonstration in London for Sunday, October 27, on the day of Diwali. Participants had originally planned to gather at Richmond Terrace, near Downing Street, before heading to the Indian High Commission building in Aldwych. However, the Metropolitan (Met) Police has refused the proposed march route, stating that protesters will instead be authorized to gather at Parliament Street, process along Whitehall, and conclude in Trafalgar Square. The Met has also warned the march should not start before 14:00 (local time).
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has condemned the march, stating it would increase tensions, and has warned that a heightened security presence will be put in place in the capital.
Localized transportation disruptions are expected along the march route. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Following a cabinet meeting on August 5, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah proposed to parliament that Article 370 in the Constitution, which accords Jammu and Kashmir state a special autonomous status, be revoked. He also proposed that Jammu and Kashmir be reorganized as a Union Territory with an assembly, and Ladakh be a separate Union Territory with no legislature.
After New Delhi rescinded the state's effective constitutional autonomy, a curfew was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir state on August 5, along with a blockage of landline and internet services in many areas. Kashmir-solidarity demonstrations and protests against India's proposed revocation of the state's special autonomous status have taken place regularly across Pakistan in the weeks following the announcement. Business disruptions have also been frequently reported in recent weeks.
Individuals in London are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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