Ambassador Sandhu inspects Indian Embassy after calls for pro-Khalistan protests in US

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Washington DC: After pro-Khalistanis threatened to hold protests outside Indian mission across the United States, the Indian Ambassador to America, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, on July 8 reached the Indian embassy and inspected the premises and annexe, reviewing the security arrangements. However, there has been no disorder or disturbance outside the Indian consulate as yet and neither are there any signs of protests as informed by the officials. Meanwhile, visuals outside the Indian Consulate in San Francisco showed barricading and police personnel deployed to avert any untoward incidents amid calls for protests by pro-Khalistani elements outside Indian missions on July 8. San Francisco saw attempted arson and violent rhetoric aimed at Indian diplomats, including, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, on July 2. Meanwhile, security was also beefed up outside the Indian embassy in Washington DC in anticipation of protests by Khalistan supporters. Metropolitan police and private security personnel were seen taking up positions outside the Indian mission. The police enforcement agency has issued no permits to hold protests outside the embassy. Police have also been deployed outside Ambassador Sandhu’s residence, the India House. These protests came on the heels of the killing of Khalistan Tiger Force chief and designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. He was wanted in India on terrorism charges. After his death, demonstrations were organised in several cities across the world, such as Melbourne, San Francisco and Toronto. This was followed by posters threatening the Indian ambassadors to Canada and the US, as well as the consulate general in Toronto. The posters also announced rallies outside Indian missions in the UK, San Francisco and Canada on Saturday. The UK saw a significantly subdued protest outside the Indian High Commission in London on Saturday, with only 30-40 pro-Khalistanis showing up between 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm GMT on Saturday. The security in the area was beefed up with the UK police calling in additional forces to the spot. However, the protesters had left the site at the time of filing this report. Amid a surge in violence by the anti-India elements outside diplomatic premises and threats to Indian diplomats in London, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said New Delhi has raised the issue of threats to Indian diplomats in London, but it will judge the UK authorities only by what actually happens on the ground. Addressing a briefing here on Thursday, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “This violence against our diplomats and inside our diplomatic premises abroad is unacceptable, and we condemn them in the strongest terms.”He added, “If there are threats to our diplomats or attacks on them, which is actually there on those posters, we are taking them very seriously and would expect to see action by those authorities.”

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