A group of pro-Khalistan protesters on Sunday attacked and damaged the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, prompting sharp condemnation from Indian-Americans who demanded immediate action against those responsible for it.
“We are also appalled by the complete law and order failure in both in London as well as in SFO where a few radicalised separatists attacked India’s diplomatic missions,” Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) said after pro-Khalistani protesters attacked the Indian Consulate in San Francisco. Raising pro-Khalistan slogans, the protesters broke open the makeshift security barriers raised by the city police and installed two so-called Khalistani flags inside the Consulate premises.
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 the iron rods. There was no immediate comment from San Francisco police on the incident. Community leader Ajay Bhutoria strongly condemned the attack by pro-Khalistan protesters on the Consulate of India building in San Francisco.
“This act of violence is not only a threat to the diplomatic relations between the United States and India but also an attack on the peace and harmony of our community,” he said. In a statement, Bhutoria urged local authorities to take immediate action against those responsible for this attack and bring them to justice. “I also call on all members of our community to unite and promote peace and harmony,” he said.
FIIDS said it is extremely concerning to see that the UK and the US have failed to fulfil the commitments as per Vienna Convention to protect diplomatic missions. “We would urge law and order institutions like Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI as well as the CIA to ensure that terrorism finds no place and support in the United States of America,” FIIDS said. It said that Pakistan’s spy agency ISI is behind instigating and funding Sikh radicalisation with false propaganda. “We ask Indian Americans including Sikh-majority to rise against the extremism,” FIIDS said.
Expressing his “heartfelt solidarity” with the government of India, Bhutoria said he stands with them during this difficult time. “Such heinous acts of violence have no place in our society, and we must all come together to condemn and resist them,” he said. “Let us work together towards a world where all communities can live in peace and mutual respect. We must not let such incidents divide us or sow the seeds of hatred and violence. Our strength lies in our unity, and together we can overcome any challenge,” he said. In Canberra, Khalistan supporters gathered outside Australian parliament to protest against police crackdown on radical preacher Amritpal Singh and his associates in Punjab.
In a similar incident, some pro-Khalistani elements attempted to pull down the Indian flag at the Indian High Commission in London.
The tricolour flying atop the Indian High Commission in London was grabbed at by a group of protesters waving separatist Khalistani flags and chanting pro-Khalistani slogans on Sunday evening.
The Indian government has demanded an explanation for the complete absence of the British security that allowed “these elements to enter the High Commission premises. The top diplomat was reminded of the basic obligations of the UK Government under the Vienna Convention.
Dubai-returned Amritpal was last year anointed the head of ‘Waris Punjab De’, which was founded by actor and activist Deep Sidhu who died in a road accident in February last year.
Last month, Amritpal and his supporters, some of them brandishing swords and guns, broke through barricades and barged into Ajnala police station on the outskirts of Amritsar city, and clashed with police for the release of one of his aides. Six policemen were injured in the incident. Punjab Police filed an FIR on February 23 in connection with the incident.
With inputs from PTI