Protests over action against Amritpal Singh erupt in 4 countries, India objects | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Protests over action against Amritpal Singh erupt in 4 countries, India objects

By, , New Delhi/washington
Mar 21, 2023 03:53 AM IST

In recent weeks, India has registered strong protests with Canada and Australia over activities of pro-Khalistan groups, including the holding of a so-called “Khalistan referendum”.

India on Monday registered a strong protest with the senior-most US diplomat in New Delhi over the vandalisation of the Indian consulate in San Francisco by pro-Khalistan elements, even as people familiar with the matter said recent anti-India protests in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US appeared to be coordinated.

The Indian flag was later hoisted at the Indian High Commission in London. (PTI)
The Indian flag was later hoisted at the Indian High Commission in London. (PTI)

During the meeting with US chargé d’affaires Elizabeth Jones, the external affairs ministry reminded the US government of its “basic obligation to protect and secure diplomatic representation” and asked for “appropriate measures” to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

Also read | Amritpal Singh trained by ISI in Georgia, linked to SFJ: Intel

The Indian embassy in Washington too “conveyed our concerns to the US State Department along similar lines”, the ministry said.

A US State Department spokesperson later said: “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.”

India’s protest with the US came a day after the UK deputy high commissioner was summoned to the external affairs ministry over the pulling down of the Indian flag at the mission in London during a protest by pro-Khalistan activists. The protestors also sought to enter the Indian mission before they were pushed back by police personnel, who arrived on the scene after the demonstration started.

Read | Found bulletproof jackets, guns; Amritpal tried to form militia 'AKF': Punjab Police

The protests by Khalistan supporters in London and San Francisco were organised over the crackdown by law enforcement agencies against pro-Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh and his aides in Punjab. Both were marred by acts of violence and vandalism. The people cited above said Indian authorities had detected patterns that indicated the protests in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US were coordinated.

On Saturday night, pro-Khalistan supporters put up two tents in front of the Indian consulate in San Francisco and eight people sat on dharna and defaced a wall of the mission.

Read | ‘Appalled’: Australian envoy on attack by Khalistan elements on pro-India groups

On Sunday morning, around 200 Khalistani sympathisers gathered outside the consulate.

Though local police put up security barricades, protesters swarmed in and planted two Khalistan flags at the consulate. When Indian security officials removed the flags and handed them over to the protesters, pro-Khalistan activists broke through the barricades and used flagpoles to attack the consulate, smashing windows and hitting the doors.

The consulate provided local police with the names and addresses of six people responsible for the vandalism who were caught on video. People familiar with events believe three groups – Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and Sikh Youth Alliance – were behind the protests. In particular, the role of Jasjeet Singh Chela and Freemont Gurudwara has come under the scanner.

California is home to close to a million Indian-Americans and Indians, and the diaspora reacted strongly to the attack. In a statement, the Foundation for Indian and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) said it was “appalled” by the complete failure of law and order in London and San Francisco, where “few radicalised separatists attacked” Indian missions.

“It is extremely concerning to see that the UK and United States of America are failing to fulfill the commitments as per Vienna Convention to protect diplomatic missions. We would urge law and order institutions like Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI as well as the CIA to ensure that terrorism finds no place and support in the United States of America,” FIIDS said, alleging Pakistan was behind instigating and funding Sikh radicalisation.

In recent weeks, India has registered strong protests with Canada and Australia over activities of pro-Khalistan groups, including the holding of a so-called “Khalistan referendum”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly raised the matter at a recent joint media interaction with his Australian counterpart, Anthony Albanese.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok sabha election Live , Election 2024 Date, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Rezaul H Laskar is the Foreign Affairs Editor at Hindustan Times. His interests include movies and music.

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Prashant Jha is the Washington DC-based US correspondent of Hindustan Times. He is also the editor of HT Premium. Jha has earlier served as editor-views and national political editor/bureau chief of the paper. He is the author of How the BJP Wins: Inside India's Greatest Election Machine and Battles of the New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, May 19, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On