US condemns vandalism at Indian consulate in San Francisco

July 4 (Reuters) – The United States has condemned vandalism against the Indian consulate in the city of San Francisco, a State Department spokesman said, after a report of a protest at the mission by supporters of a separate state for the Sikh community.

Sikh separatists tried to set fire to the consulate on the weekend, Reuters partner ANI reported, citing sources. There was no major damage nor any injuries and police were investigating, the news agency said.

U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller did not mention Sikh protesters but said in a post on Twitter that the U.S. strongly condemned the reported vandalism and attempted arson on Saturday.

“Vandalism or violence against diplomatic facilities or foreign diplomats in the U.S. is a criminal offense,” Miller said.
Similar incidents have taken place outside Indian diplomatic missions in Britain and Canada in recent months.

Sikh separatists have for generations sought an independent Sikh homeland called Khalistan in northwest India.

Their demand led to violence in which tens of thousands of people were killed, mostly in India, in the 1980s and 1990s. Activists in the Sikh community in India and overseas have revived the call recently.

India’s foreign ministry and the San Francisco police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Jahnavi Nidumolu in Bengaluru; editing by Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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