The San Francisco Fire Department quickly extinguished the fire at the consulate. No major damage or injuries were reported.
New Delhi: The Indian consulate in San Francisco was allegedly vandalized by Khalistani separatists on Sunday, drawing sharp condemnation from the United States State Department.
“The US strongly condemns the reported vandalism and attempted arson against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco on Saturday. Vandalism or violence against diplomatic facilities or foreign diplomats in the US is a criminal offense,” said US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.
The San Francisco Fire Department quickly extinguished the fire at the consulate. No major damage or injuries were reported while local, state, and federal authorities were notified, according to ANI.
A video shared by San Francisco-based Diya TV shows the consulate on fire with the words “violence begets violence” superimposed on it. The video also showed newspaper clippings reporting the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist who headed the pro-Khalistan outfit Khalistan Tiger Force, and the Canadian arm of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) was shot dead in Canada last month.
The 46-year-old Nijjar was a native of Jalandhar and was accused of providing financial support to Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), one of the oldest Canada-based Khalistani terror groups.
Meanwhile, a “freedom rally” has been called in Canada by pro-Khalistan activists. The posters for the freedom rally carry threats to India’s envoy in Ottawa and Consul General in Toronto.
The latest attack on the Indian consulate in San Francisco comes months after Khalistani separatists broke through security barriers and installed two flags bearing the Khalistan insignia inside the premises.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said yesterday that the “radical, extremist” Khalistani ideology is not good for India or its partner countries like the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia.
“We have requested our partner countries like Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia where sometimes Khalistani activities happen, not to give space to the Khalistanis. Because their (Khalistanis) radical, extremist thinking is neither good for us nor them nor our relations,” Mr. Jaishankar said as quoted by PTI.
The External Affairs Minister said that the Indian government will raise the issue of pro-Khalistan posters being part of a rally in Canada.