“Never acceptable…”: Congressman Shri Thanedar on attack on Indian Consulate

Washington DC [US]: Indian-American Congressman Shri Thanedar on Tuesday (local time) condemned the attacks on Indian Embassy and called the recent attacks on Indian Consulate in San Francisco “unacceptable.” In an exclusive interview with media, Thanedar said that the US must strongly condemn such attacks and provide protection to democratic institutions.

Sikh separatists tried to set fire to the consulate the last weekend there was no major damage nor any injuries and police were investigating. Sikh separatists have for generations sought an independent Sikh homeland called Khalistan in India.

In response to a question regarding attacks on Indian Consulate in San Francisco, Shri Thanedar said, “It is never acceptable to have such attacks. Arson and violent physical attacks on an embassy. You know, I believe in freedom of speech. I believe every group person has a right to express their views. But, attack on an institution, physical attack, threats to workers are totally unacceptable.”

Fire crews were called about 2 am (local time) on Sunday to the Consulate General of India in the heart of the city, where they found a smouldering debris fire on the sidewalk.

The fire damaged the front door and entryway, according to San Francisco fire officials. The consulate had been previously vandalized in March by Sikh protesters earlier this year.

“We need to express our disagreement in a democratic and peaceful manner. And I strongly condemn attacks on the Indian embassy and United States must strongly condemn such attacks and provide the protection these democratic institutions need,” he added.

Days after Khalistan supporters set ablaze the Indian consulate in San Francisco, Top White House official Kurt Campbell in an exclusive interview with media termed the incident as ‘deeply regrettable’ and said the US is taking steps to ensure the Indian diplomatic community feels safe and secure in the country

Indian-American Congressman Thanedar escorted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his historic joint address to the US Congress on June 22. Calling it an “honour” and reflecting on his meeting with PM Modi, the US lawmaker said that he and PM Modi talked about bringing US Congress members to India to see them and to know what India is really like.

When asked about Hindu phobia in the US, Shri Thanedar said, “I had a chance to meet with Prime Minister Modi when he was here.

I actually had the honour to escort him to the joint session of Congress and I had conversation with Modiji for over 40 minutes. And Modiji expressed his happiness that I formed the Hindu Caucus. I think what we need to do is we need to educate people. There is a lot of misunderstanding.”

“And one of the things I and Prime Minister Modi spoke about was bringing United States Congress members to India to see them, what India is really like, how people of different religion, different faith, live in harmony, how people of minorities have risen in high positions in Indian government, in Indian businesses. So, there is a lot of misinformation, but it’s important that they understand,” he added.

Shri Thanedar said that it is “critical” to educate people about the realities of India with its different cultures. US Congressman said that India is one of the leading economies in the world. He called it “important” for US and India to have a “good working relationship and strong friendship.” He said that the strong relationship between India and the US will be good for the people of both nations.

“It’s critical thing is to educate people about the realities of India with its different cultures. Every hundred miles as Modiji said, India has different culture, different food, different languages and all of that. Everybody lives in harmony. India is not perfect, not as United States, not is any other country. We all have better things. We need to improve on human rights, we need to improve on freedom of expression. We need to improve on a number of things,” Shri Thanedar said.

“But India has made a lot of progress. It is one of the leading economies in the world. And it’s important that United States and India have a good working relationship, a strong friendship. So it would be beneficial for American economy, it will be important to create American jobs and good for the people of both countries, people of American as well as people of India,” he added.

Earlier in June, PM Modi travelled to the US for a State visit. During his US visit, PM Modi attended various events and met top Indian and American CEOs. PM Modi addressed the joint session of the US Congress.

He received a ceremonial welcome and guard of honour at the White House upon his arrival. He was hosted by US President Joe Biden as well as First Lady Jill Biden for a state dinner at the White House, as well as a State Luncheon by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and US Vice President Kamala Harris. PM Modi interacted with the Indian diaspora at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC.

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