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India lodges strong protest with US after attack on Consulate in San Francisco

Khalistan supporters entered Consulate premises and installed their flags


India on Monday lodged its strong protest with the United States after a group of Khalistan supporters attacked the Indian Consulate in San Francisco over the Punjab Police's crackdown on radical preacher Amritpal Singh. The US government was asked to take appropriate measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

“In a meeting with the US Charge d’Affaires in New Delhi, India conveyed its strong protest at the vandalisation of the property of the Consulate General of India, San Francisco,” the MEA said.

“The US government was reminded of its basic obligation to protect and secure diplomatic representation,” it said.

The statement added that the Indian Embassy in Washington D.C. Has also conveyed the country's concerns to the US State Department.

The incident reportedly took place on Sunday when the protesters, raising pro-Khalistan slogans, broke open the makeshift security barriers raised by the city police and installed two Khalistani flags inside the Consulate premises. Two consulate personnel soon removed these flags.

Soon thereafter, a group of angry protesters entered the consulate premises and started hitting the door and windows with the iron rods.

In a similar incident in London on the same day, the tricolour flying atop the Indian High Commission was grabbed at by the protesters waving separatist Khalistan flags and chanting pro-Khalistan slogans.

Following the incident, India on Sunday night summoned the senior-most British diplomat in Delhi and demanded an explanation over complete "absence of security" at the mission. The Scotland Yard has detained one person in connection with vandalism.

Earlier in Canberra, Khalistan supporters had gathered outside the Australian parliament to protest against police crackdown on Amritpal and his associates in Punjab.

Still on the run

Amritapal, the chief of 'Waris Punjab De' group, evaded arrest for the third day, too, even as the Punjab Police intensified its operation and extended the suspension of mobile internet and SMS services in the state till Tuesday noon. Amritpal's uncle Harjit Singh and driver Harpreet Singh gave themselves up before the cops past Sunday midnight.

Police on Monday flagged a possible ISI angle as it invoked the stringent National Security Act against five men linked to radical preacher. Harjit Singh, who officials say helped his nephew gain control over the accounts of Waris Punjab De, is among the five slapped with the NSA, which allows the preventive detention of anyone who could threaten national security or public order.

So far, six FIRs have been registered, 114 people arrested, and ten weapons and 430 cartridges recovered in the action against Waris Punjab De, police said.

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