Washington (PTI): The United States on Monday strongly condemned the attack on the Indian consulate in San Francisco by a group of separatist Sikhs, terming it absolutely unacceptable.
Raising pro-Khalistan slogans, the protesters on Sunday broke open the makeshift security barriers raised by the city police and installed two so-called Khalistani flags inside the Consulate premises. Two consulate personnel soon removed these flags.
Soon thereafter, a group of angry protesters entered the consulate premises and started hitting the door and windows with the iron rods.
"That vandalism, it's just absolutely unacceptable," John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for strategic communications at the White House told reporters at a daily news conference, strongly condemning the incident.
"The State Department's diplomatic security service is working with local authorities. I can't speak for the San Francisco police, but I can say that the diplomatic security service is working with local authorities to properly investigate and obviously, the State Department is going to be working from an infrastructure perspective to repair the damage, but it's unacceptable," Kirby said in response to a question.
The State Department also issued a statement indicating that those behind the act would be held accountable.
"The US condemns the attack on Sunday against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco. Violence against diplomatic facilities within the US is a punishable crime," it said.
"It is our priority to defend the security and safety of these facilities and the diplomats who work within them," said the South and Central Asia Bureau of the State Department.
In a separate statement, the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum strongly condemned the attack on the Indian mission in San Francisco, California.
"The United States and India are vibrant democracies and understand that the right to assemble peacefully and protest is sacrosanct. However, violence and vandalism will not be condoned or tolerated," it said.
Diplomats and consular staff deserve the same right to a secure and peaceful work environment, free from external harm and threats, it said. "We stand by Dr. TV Nagendra Prasad, the honorable Consul General of India in San Francisco, and his staff."
The USISPF urged the local authorities in California and the Congressional leadership of the district to take the necessary action against the culprits and those guilty of aiding and abetting. "We thank the State Department for responding promptly."
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Mysuru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who visited his constituency Varuna in Mysuru district for the first time since taking charge as the head of the state government in May, declared that he would enthusiastically serve the people till his last breath.
Siddaramaiah, who landed at the Suttur Helipad in Nanjangud taluk on Saturday, was accorded a warm welcome by his supporters. He also attended a program at Biligere in Varuna, to thank the voters who ensured his victory in the recent Assembly election. Addressing the gathering, the CM said, “This was the last election I would contest in, but I will remain active in politics till I die as it would give me an opportunity to serve the citizens.”
Siddaramaiah further said, “The great seers of our land like Basavanna always lived true to their words. Keeping them as my model, I took oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka on Basava Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Basavanna,” adding, “The post of a chief minister, however, is by no means a position of luxury. I consider it an opportunity for me to bring in improvement in the lives of the people of Karnataka.”
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Referring to his earlier work as Karnataka CM, he said, “There were schemes in 2013 for the welfare of all people without distinction between communities, region or religion. Our government, in its current tenure, will be even more efficient in working for the welfare of the people and our schemes will be more fruitful than those during the earlier tenure.”
Speaking about the guarantees promised by the Congress government, Siddaramaiah stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had said that the Congress would fail at implementing the promises leading the state to bankruptcy and also pointed out that the state government had implemented all the five guarantees. “When the Congress government promised schemes that would benefit the lower and middle classes, PM Modi and the Central government should have supported us in our efforts. Our PM, unfortunately, is not considering an uplift of the lower and middle classes worthy of his efforts,” said Siddaramaiah, also hitting out at the BJP for ‘continuing its convention of confusing the people with its horde of lies’.
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