U.S. condemns attack on Indian consulate in San Francisco

Raising pro-Khalistan slogans, protesters on Sunday broke open the makeshift security barriers raised by the San Francisco police and installed two Khalistani flags inside the Consulate premises

March 21, 2023 09:10 am | Updated 09:57 am IST - Washington

A security guard walks in front of the Consulate General of India in San Francisco that was attacked on March 19, 2023.

A security guard walks in front of the Consulate General of India in San Francisco that was attacked on March 19, 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

The United States on Monday strongly condemned the attack on the Indian consulate in San Francisco by a group of separatist Sikhs, terming it absolutely unacceptable.

Raising pro-Khalistan slogans, the protesters on Sunday broke open the makeshift security barriers raised by the city police and installed two 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.

"That vandalism, it's just absolutely unacceptable," John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for strategic communications at the White House told reporters at a daily news conference, strongly condemning the incident.

"The State Department's diplomatic security service is working with local authorities. I can't speak for the San Francisco police, but I can say that the diplomatic security service is working with local authorities to properly investigate and obviously, the State Department is going to be working from an infrastructure perspective to repair the damage, but it's unacceptable," Mr. Kirby said in response to a question.

The State Department also issued a statement indicating that those behind the act would be held accountable.

"The U.S. 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.

"It is our priority to defend the security and safety of these facilities and the diplomats who work within them," said the South and Central Asia Bureau of the State Department.

In a separate statement, the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum strongly condemned the attack on the Indian mission in San Francisco, California.

"The United States and India are vibrant democracies and understand that the right to assemble peacefully and protest is sacrosanct. However, violence and vandalism will not be condoned or tolerated," it said.

Diplomats and consular staff deserve the same right to a secure and peaceful work environment, free from external harm and threats, it said. "We stand by Dr. TV Nagendra Prasad, the honorable Consul General of India in San Francisco, and his staff."

The USISPF urged the local authorities in California and the Congressional leadership of the district to take the necessary action against the culprits and those guilty of aiding and abetting. "We thank the State Department for responding promptly."

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