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Attempted arson at Indian consulate in San Francisco

Update: The US said it “strongly condemns” reported vandalism at the Indian consulate in San Francisco.

Details of the incident were apparently reported by a local television channel.

“The US strongly condemns the reported vandalism and attempted arson against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco on Saturday,” said Mathew Miller, state department spokesman, in a tweet late Monday.

“Vandalism or violence against diplomatic facilities or foreign diplomats in the US is a criminal offense.”

The Consulate was earlier attacked in March by Khalistani separatists, who are a tiny minority of the Sikh community here, and the US government had responded swiftly condemning it. 

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Washington, July 3 (IANS) Two men dressed in dark clothes walked up to the gate of the Indian consulate in San Francisco on July 2, poured some kind of inflammable liquid on it from a container and set it on fire in a stunning breach of security as the same facility was attacked earlier in March.

The fire department put out the fire before it could spread.

No one was injured in the incident because of the timing of the incident, none of the staff was at hand and it was too early for public dealings. Indian officials took up the incident locally with San Francisco authorities, the California government and, eventually, President Joe Biden’s administration.

“The US strongly condemns the reported vandalism and attempted arson against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco on Saturday (July 1),” State Department spokesman Mathew Miller said in a tweet early Tuesday.

“Vandalism or violence against diplomatic facilities or foreign diplomats in the US is a criminal offense,” he added.

Indian officials have taken up the incident with US authorities, specially the FBI, which is already investigating the March attack on the same mission.

No one had been arrested in connection to the incident till the filing of this report.

Khalistani separatists had vandalised the mission in March in a breach of security so serious that it was condemned by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

The latest incident is being seen thus as part of a chain of serious attacks on Indian facilities in the UA and there are worries that diplomats could be targeted next.

The attackers are understood to have taken credit for the attack in a social media post, which was taken down subsequently because of fears of being noticed by law enforcement authorities.

A video post surfaced subsequently on a local community TV channel.

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