Security beefed up around Indian Consulate in San Francisco after Khalistani protest

23 March, 2023 | Pragati Singh

indian World

Pro-Khalistan slogans were yelled at by turbaned men of all ages among the protesters.

More than 200 demonstrators flying Khalistan flags converged on the Indian Embassy in San Francisco on Wednesday for a planned rally, despite the San Francisco Police Department’s increased security presence (SFDP). Unlike on Sunday, when the Consulate was attacked, the demonstrators were firmly walled across the road, with uniformed SFPD police standing watch and patrolling the area.

Pro-Khalistan slogans were yelled at by turbaned men of all ages among the protesters. They arrived from various sections of the Bay Area. The organisers utilised microphones to deliver anti-India statements in both English and Punjabi, as well as to criticise the Punjab Police for alleged human rights violations.

When ANI attempted to speak with one of the protesters, he accused the Indian media of prejudice for labelling them fringe elements supported by Pakistan’s espionage agency ISI.

“There have been flyers circulating on social media and it’s the youth that’s at the forefront of protests like these,” a pro-Khalistan youth told ANI. The Indian Embassy in San Francisco has been cooperating with law enforcement to safeguard its facilities and the diplomats who work there.

“Thank you @SFPDChief for the assurances. Met Chief Scott to discuss the attack on @CGISFO Chancery building on March 19 and request to raise the level of protection to the Consulate premises and personnel,” Consul General of India at San Francisco Ambassador Nagendra Prasad tweeted on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby has said that vandalism at the Indian Embassy in San Francisco is “completely reprehensible” and that the US condemns it.

“We certainly condemn that vandalism, it’s absolutely unacceptable. State Department’s diplomatic security service is working with local authorities to properly investigate. The state Department will work on infrastructure perspective to repair the damage,” Kirby said.

US State Department spokesperson told ANI: “The United States condemns the attack against the Indian Consulate and any attack against diplomatic facilities within the United States. We pledge to defend the safety and security of these facilities as well as the diplomats who work within them.”

Supporters of Khalistan have begun to cause havoc throughout the world. After damage in London, Khalistan activists are said to have assaulted the Indian Embassy in San Francisco (SFO). Social media users shared videos of fans smashing down the doors and barging into the office.

Images circulated online show a large mob wielding Khalistan flags placed on wooden poles and smashing glass doors and windows of the embassy building. They chanted pro-Khalistan chants as they burst past the city police’s temporary security barricades and placed two Khalistani flags inside the grounds.

On Monday, India expressed its strong outrage over the vandalism of the property of the Consulate General of India in San Francisco at a meeting with the US Charge d’Affaires in New Delhi.

“The US Government was reminded of its basic obligation to protect and secure diplomatic representation. It was asked to take appropriate measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. Our Embassy in Washington D.C. also conveyed our concerns to the US State Department along similar lines,” read the Ministry of External Affairs press release.