India strongly raises Khalistan vandalism with US, Canada, Australia

New Delhi: India strongly raised the matter of Khalistani threats and vandalism with Canada, the United States and Australia, said people with knowledge of the matter.

Close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit, the Indian consulate in San Francisco was allegedly vandalized by Khalistani separatists, drawing a 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 offence,” said US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.

The Indian mission in the US strongly raised the matter with the State Department, said people with knowledge of the matter.

In New Delhi, India summoned Canadian High Commissioner Cameron MacKay on Monday to convey concerns ahead of protests by pro-Khalistan terrorist groups outside the Indian High Commission in Ottawa, and two consulates in Toronto and Vancouver on July 8.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said it is ‘wrong’ to believe his government is reluctant to act against pro-Khalistan gatherings and terrorists in the country and declared Canada ‘always takes serious action against terrorism and we always will’.

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.

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 pro-Khalistan groups Khalistan Tiger Force and the Canadian arm of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and was shot dead in Canada last month.

Nijjar, 46, was a native of Jalandhar and was accused of providing financial support to Babbar Khalsa International, one of the oldest Canada-based Khalistani terrorist groups.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar recently said the “radical, extremist” Khalistani ideology is not good for India or its partner countries such as the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia.

Image courtesy of Twitter

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