New Delhi, March 20
India called in the US Charge d’Affaires on Monday and conveyed its strong protest at the vandalisation of the property of the Consulate General of India, San Francisco after a separatist mob caused disruption to its functioning.
Separately, India’s High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma was forced to cancel his appearance at a function in Surrey, British Columbia, after 200 protesters, some wielding swords, gathered in front of the venue demanding the release of fugitive Amritpal Singh.
There also was a demonstration by Khalistan supporters outside the Australian Parliament in Canberra to protest against the security crackdown on Amritpal Singh and his associates in Punjab.
US diplomat Elizabeth Jones was reminded of the US Government’s “basic obligation” to protect and secure diplomatic representation. It was also asked to take appropriate measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents. The Indian Embassy in Washington also conveyed New Delhi’s concerns to the US State Department along similar lines.
The US diplomat was summoned a day after the UK Deputy High Commissioner was summoned to the Foreign Office here after Khalistan supporters pulled down the national flag at the Indian High Commission building in London.
In response, a huge Tricolour was put up at the Indian High Commission building in London and the Sikh community, armed with tricolours, held a protest outside the British High Commission here over the attempt to pull down the tricolor at the Indian mission in London
Sources said the storming of the Indian consulate in San Francisco was extremely serious. To the accompaniment of loud music in the background, the separatist mob tried to affix so-called Khalistan flags at the entrance. It then broke through security barriers and ran after consulate staffers who had removed the flags. When the main door was slammed shut, the mob rammed at the doors and windows with rods and wooden sticks, and in one case, with a sword. It then spray-painted graffiti on the outer wall of the building calling for the release of Amritpal.
San Francisco has seen many anti-India protests with the latest taking place on Independence Day-eve last year when the “Gadar Memorial” site was pasted with Khalistan Flags.
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