Assuring security to Indian diplomats and their premises in the US, Washington has condemned as “absolutely unacceptable” the attack on the Indian Consulate in San Francisco by alleged Khalistan supporters during a protest.
The US State Department issued a statement indicating that those behind the act would be held accountable. “The US condemns the attack on Sunday against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco. Violence against diplomatic facilities within the US is a punishable crime,” it said.
Senior Indian diplomats have told their American counterparts that they anticipate more such protests by anti-national and anti-social elements in the coming weeks and months. Security has been increased at all the Indian diplomatic missions in the US.
Taking a serious note of the incident on Sunday, India late on Monday summoned US Charge d’affaires in New Delhi to register a protest. The US was also asked to take appropriate measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
The US official condemnation late on Monday came after the protesters on Sunday broke open the makeshift security barriers raised by the San Francisco police and installed two so-called Khalistan flags on the Indian Consulate premises. However, two consulate personnel soon removed these flags.
Soon thereafter, a group of angry protesters entered the Consulate premises and started hitting the door and windows with iron rods.
“That vandalism, it’s just absolutely unacceptable,” John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for strategic communications at the White House, told reporters late Monday at a daily news conference, strongly condemning the incident.
US National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan also condemned the acts of violence against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, in London, after alleged Khalistan supporters grabbed the Indian Tricolour atop the Indian High Commission, several Indian diaspora groups have called for a “We Stand By High Commission of India” demonstration outside India House in London on Tuesday. It is a show of solidarity following vandalism at the premises by extremists on Sunday.
Incidentally, there is a planned protest organised by groups such as the Federation of Sikh Organisations (FSO) and Sikh Youth Jathebandi outside the Indian mission in London on Wednesday. The Metropolitan Police in London has indicated that it is aware of the planned demonstration and security measures are expected to be in place.
Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami, meanwhile, hosted a diaspora briefing at India House on Monday evening and addressed the concerns of the community leaders following the attack on the High Commission on Sunday that resulted in broken windows.
“Appreciated their solidarity following the attack on the High Commission on Sunday,” the Indian High Commission here tweeted following the diaspora briefing.
An attempted pull down by the extremists of the Indian Tricolour that flies at the Indian High Commission was intercepted by an official.
The Metropolitan Police said one person arrested on suspicion of violent disorder has since been bailed to appear in court in mid-June.
Friends of India Society International (FISI) UK, one of the organisations behind Tuesday’s solidarity meet, said the Indian diaspora is deeply shocked by the “disgraceful and abominable act” of desecration of the Indian flag by extremist forces.
The National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK was among several groups to voice their condemnation of the vandalism.