Washington DC [US] : Days after the arson attack on the Indian consulate in San Francisco by pro-Khalistan supporters, top White House official Kurt Campbell on Thursday termed it as “deeply regrettable” and said the United States is taking steps to ensure Indian diplomatic community feels safe and secure in the country.

Campbell, the United States National Security Council’s coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs said, “First of all, let me say that these are deeply regrettable events. We take very seriously the safety and security of diplomats that are living in the United States. We have been in close contact with Indian authorities, with local law enforcement.” “We are trying to take the necessary steps to ensure that the Indian diplomatic community feels safe and secure here. And we’ll continue with that work going forward,” Campbell told. Earlier the US state department spokesperson said that the US strongly condemned the vandalism and attempted arson by pro-Khalistan supporters in San Francisco.

State department spokesperson Matthew Miller on Monday (local time) had tweeted, “The US 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 US is a criminal offense.”

Around 1:40 am (local time) on Sunday (July 2), a group of Khalistan radicals made an attempt to set the Indian Consulate in San Francisco on fire. A video of the incident was verified by sources who told the fire was suppressed quickly by the San Francisco Fire Department. The Local San Francisco police department, special diplomatic security personnel, and state and federal authorities were notified and immediately began investigating the incident.

Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Dr TV Nagendra Prasad, Consul General, Consulate General of India, San Francisco, have been targeted in a poster purportedly circulated by Sikh extremists who have accused them of playing a role in the June killing of Khalistan Tiger Force chief and designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.

On Monday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said India will take up the issue of Khalistanis with partner countries. Jaishankar said that India has requested its partner countries including Canada, UK and the US to not give space to the Khalistanis as it will affect their relationship. This is not for the first time that the Francisco consulate has come under attack.

In March this year several protesters, raising pro-Khalistan slogans broke open the makeshift security barriers raised by the SF city police and installed two so-called Khalistani flags inside the Consulate premises. Two consulate personnel soon removed these flags. The US government condemned the violent incidents that took place during protests at Indian diplomatic facilities in the US, while also termed that violence, or the threat of violence is never an acceptable form of protest and is of “grave concern.”

Multiple incidents of protests by supporters of Khalistan have been staged outside the Indian embassy and the San Francisco Consulate, however, no action against any person or group has been taken as yet. The extremist Sikh group are also planning to rally outside the Indian missions in the US on July 8.

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