Pro-Khalistan attacks rise post India's crackdown on Amritpal
Deccan Chronicle.| DC Correspondent
Indian consulate in San Francisco was attacked by a mob of pro-Khalistan elements who banged on the doors and smashed windows with swords
People from Sikh Community protest outside British High Commission after March 19, 2023 incident at Indian High Commission in London, in New Delhi, Monday, March 20, 2023. (PTI Photo)
NEW DELHI: After pro-Khalistan elements had pulled down the Indian tricolour at the Indian high commission in London on Sunday, there were disturbing media reports on Monday from the United States that the Indian consulate in San Francisco had been attacked by a mob of pro-Khalistan elements who banged on the doors and smashed windows with swords. This follows the crackdown by the Punjab police on radical pro-Khalistan preacher Amritpal Singh and his supporters for their recent violent actions in the state.
Foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said Monday that the MEA had late Sunday night summoned the British deputy high commissioner in New Delhi in the wake of the violent actions by pro-Khalistan elements in London. The foreign secretary said India had demanded adequate security for its diplomatic missions in Britain from the British authorities. British high commissioner to India Alex Ellis condemned the violence by the pro-Khalistan elements in London that had targeted the Indian high commission there. "I condemn the disgraceful acts today against the people and premises of the @HCI_London -- totally unacceptable," he tweeted. The Indian high commission in London, media reports said, had subsequently put up a huge tricolor there to send a strong message that it would not be cowed down by such actions.
India had on Sunday night conveyed a strong protest to the British deputy high commissioner. An explanation was demanded by India for the complete absence of the British security, with New Delhi finding "unacceptable" the "indifference" of the British government to the security of Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in the UK". India had also demanded "immediate steps to identify, arrest and prosecute each one of those involved in today’s incident" and said some of these elements had managed to enter the high commission premises.
All this comes in the wake of violence and vandalism by pro-Khalistan elements in Australia and Canada as well. It may be recalled that the violent terrorist Khalistan movement that aimed to break Punjab away from India in the 1980s and form a separate nation was finally crushed by the Punjab police way back in 1994. However, in countries including the US, Britain, Canada and Australia, a section of the Sikh diaspora under the influence of radical groups has been attempting to revive the movement that is believed to have the tacit backing of Pakistan and its spy agency ISI.
New Delhi had on Sunday night stated: "The seniormost UK diplomat in New Delhi was summoned late evening today to convey India’s strong protest at the actions taken by separatist and extremist elements against the Indian high commission in London earlier in the day. 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."
New Delhi had added: "India finds unacceptable the indifference of the UK government to the security of Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in the UK. It is expected that the UK government would take immediate steps to identify, arrest and prosecute each one of those involved in today’s incident, and put in place.