Pro-Khalistani protest erupts in US over action against Amritpal Singh
India registered a strong protest with the senior-most United States (US) diplomat in New Delhi on Monday over the vandalization of the Indian consulate in San Francisco by pro-Khalistan elements. According to reports, coordinated anti-India protests have also erupted in countries such as Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom (UK), amid the ongoing crackdown on Amritpal Singh and his associates back in India.
Why does this story matter?
- These developments come just a few days after the Punjab Police ramped up its efforts to arrest pro-Khalistani Waris Punjab De chief Singh and his associates after state CM Bhagwant Mann met with Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah on March 2.
- Notably, the separatist leader returned to India last year from Dubai after Waris Punjab De founder Deep Sidhu was killed in an accident.
MEA reacts to pro-Khalistani protests in US
During a meeting with US Chargé d'affaires A Elizabeth Jones, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) reminded the American government of its "basic obligation to protect and secure diplomatic representation" and urged it to prevent such incidents by taking "appropriate measures." Meanwhile, the Indian embassy in Washington said that it conveyed its "concerns to the US State Department along similar lines."
Vandalism at Indian consulate 'absolutely unacceptable': White House
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby also reacted strongly to the vandalism in San Francisco, saying, "We certainly condemn that vandalism; it's absolutely unacceptable. State Department's diplomatic security service is working with local authorities to properly investigate." Kirby added, "State Department will work on infrastructure perspective to repair the damage."
US condemns attack against Indian consulate
"The United States condemns the attack against the Indian consulate and any attack against diplomatic facilities within the United States," a US State Department spokesperson told ANI. "We pledge to defend the safety and security of these facilities as well as the diplomats who work within them," the spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Visuals of pro-Khalistani protest in San Francisco
Pro-Khalistani supporters removed Indian flag in London
Separately, on Sunday evening, the tricolor flying atop the Indian High Commission in London was pulled down by pro-Khalistani supporters. In response, the Indian High Commission replaced it with a bigger national flag. In numerous videos shared on social media, an official from the commission can be seen rescuing the Indian flag from a group of protesters waving Khalistani flags and chanting pro-Khalistani slogans.
MEA's reaction to London incident
"An explanation was demanded for the complete absence of the British security that allowed these elements to enter the High Commission premises. She was reminded in this regard of the basic obligations of the UK Government under the Vienna Convention," stated the MEA. "India finds unacceptable the indifference of the UK government to the security of Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in the UK."
Details on Punjab Police's pursuit of Singh
More than 50 police vehicles pursued Singh and his associates on Saturday in an attempt to apprehend them after the Punjab Police tracked the pro-Khalistani leader's last location in Shahkot, Jalandhar. Many of Singh's supporters also claimed on social media that the police were hunting them. However, the police are yet to capture Singh, and a statewide operation is still ongoing.