US condemns vandalism, attempted arson against Indian Consulate in San Francisco

New York: The US has strongly condemned vandalism and attempted arson against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, terming the violence a “criminal offense”.

A video by Khalistan supporters, dated July 2, 2023 posted on Twitter, showed the act of arson at the Indian Consulate in San Francisco.

The video, with the words “violence begets violence” emblazoned over it, also showed news articles related to the death of Canada-based Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Nijjar, one of India’s most-wanted terrorists who carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Canada last month.

“The U.S. 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 U.S. is a criminal offense,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a tweet Monday.

Diya TV, a South Asian broadcast TV network in the US, said in a tweet that “a fire was set early Sunday morning between 1:30-2:30 am in the San Francisco Indian Consulate.”

“The fire was suppressed quickly by the San Francisco Department, damage was limited and no staffers were harmed. Local, state and federal authorities have been notified,” it said.

The outlet also posted a video of the arson attack.

A poster being shared on social media says that a “Khalistan Freedom Rally” will be organised on July 8 that will start in Berkeley, California and end at the Indian embassy in San Francisco.