The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has released the pictures of 10 wanted accused in the March 2023 case of attack and vandalism at the Indian Consulate in the United States’ San Francisco, and has sought information about them from the general public.
On September 21, the agency said it had issued three separate “Request for Identification & Information” notices against the wanted accused, seeking information that could lead to their arrest or detention.
“The agency has promised not to reveal the identity of anyone sharing information on the accused,” it said.
In June, the NIA had registered a case to probe the attack. Various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act have been invoked.
The attack on the Indian consulate had taken place in the intervening night of March 18 and 19, 2023 when some alleged pro-Khalistan entities illegally entered the consulate premises and attempted to set it ablaze.
“On the same day, slogan-shouting Khalistani supporters had broken through the makeshift security barriers raised by the city police and put up two so-called Khalistani flags on the consulate premises, damaged the consulate building, assaulted and caused injuries to the consulate officials,” said the NIA.
Through his X handle, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had condemned “the acts of violence against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco”. “We are committed to the safety and security of these facilities and the diplomats who work within them. The State Department is in touch with local law enforcement on next steps in this matter,” he had said.
In the intervening night of July 1 and 2, some accused persons had again trespassed into the consulate and tried to burn it down while the officials were inside the building.
As part of the investigation, an NIA team had visited San Francisco in August to gather evidence and held meetings with local authorities.
“The United States is taking all appropriate steps, in coordination with federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities, to protect the safety and security of India’s diplomatic facilities and the diplomats that work within them,” said the US Embassy spokesperson on Thursday.
(with inputs from Suhasini Haidar)