20 arrested in Sikh protest at India's London embassy

LONDON (AFP) - British police said they arrested 20 protesters outside the Indian High Commission in London on Thursday after a Sikh demonstration turned violent.

Hundreds of protesters blocked the road outside the embassy, London police said. One officer was hurt in the scuffles.

According to the Sikh Press Association news service, the protest was part of the Sikh Lives Matter movement, which has sought to raise awareness of alleged police brutality in India.

"Whilst it was initially a peaceful protest the demonstrators blocked the roadway... and caused significant disruption to the central London road network," a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

"Police liaison officers attempted to negotiate with those present, in order to facilitate peaceful protest and minimise the disruption to the public.

"A small group of protesters became violent towards police.

"During an altercation, one officer suffered a head injury and was taken to hospital.

"At this stage police believe a number of offences may have been committed. There have been 20 arrests - the majority of which have been for affray."

In the 2011 British census, some 432,429 people said they were of the Sikh faith.