Khalistan posters target Indian diplomats in Canada, San Francisco consulate set on fire: What we know so far

DailyBiteJul 04, 2023 | 12:15

Khalistan posters target Indian diplomats in Canada, San Francisco consulate set on fire: What we know so far

Pro-Khalistan supporters during a protest in London. (PTI Photo)

India's consulate in San Francisco, US, was set on fire by Khalistan supporters early on Sunday (July 2) morning. This incident marked the second act of violence against the consulate within a few months.

A video shared on Twitter, dated July 2, showcased the act of arson committed by Khalistan supporters at the Indian Consulate in San Francisco.

The video, accompanied by the words "violence begets violence," also included news articles related to the recent death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Canada-based chief of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF). Nijjar, a wanted terrorist with a significant reward on his head, was fatally shot outside a gurdwara in Canada the previous month.


The incident was also reported by Diya TV, a South Asian broadcast TV network in the US, which confirmed that the fire was promptly suppressed, resulting in limited damage and no harm to consulate staff.

US condemns the incident

In response to the attack, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller expressed strong condemnation through a tweet, stating, "The US strongly condemns the reported vandalism and attempted arson against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco on Saturday. Vandalism or violence against diplomatic facilities or foreign diplomats in the US is a criminal offense."

Previous attack on Indian consulate

This recent attack on the Indian Consulate in San Francisco is not an isolated incident. On March 19, a group of pro-Khalistan protesters damaged the consulate premises and raised Khalistani flags.


However, the flags were swiftly removed by consulate personnel.

Khalistan posters target envoys in Canada

A Sikh organisation in Canada, known for its pro-Khalistani stance, has distributed flyers featuring images of India's High Commissioner to Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, and Consul General Apoorva Srivastava. These flyers labeled them as "killers," prompting the Indian government to raise the issue with the Canadian authorities.

The flyers also announced a "Khalistan Freedom Rally" scheduled for July 8 in Toronto.

The individuals featured on the flyers were depicted as responsible for the death of Hardip Singh Nijjar, who was the commander of the Khalistan Tiger Force and a wanted terrorist in India. However, Nijjar was residing in Surrey, Canada until his untimely demise on June 18 when masked attackers shot him in the parking lot of a local gurdwara.

India summons Canadian envoy

The Indian government summoned the Canadian High Commissioner to express its concerns regarding the upcoming protests organised by pro-Khalistan terrorist groups. These protests are scheduled to take place outside the Indian High Commission in Ottawa, as well as the consulates in Toronto and Vancouver on July 8.


During the meeting, the Indian High Commissioner to Canada also highlighted a previous incident where Sikh extremists had thrown two smoke grenades onto the premises of the High Commission on March 23, 2023.

Canada assures safety of Indian diplomats

Canada provided assurance on Tuesday (July 4) regarding the safety of Indian diplomats in light of the upcoming Khalistan Freedom Rally. Referring to the circulated "promotional material" associated with the rally as "unacceptable," Canada emphasized its strong commitment to ensuring the safety of diplomats, stating that it takes its obligations in this regard very seriously.

In a tweet, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joy said, "Canada takes its obligations under the Vienna Conventions regarding the safety of diplomats very seriously. Canada remains in close contact with Indian officials in light of some of the promotional material circulating online regarding a protest planned for July 8, which are unacceptable."

The Khalistan movement

The Khalistan movement seeks to create an independent Sikh state called Khalistan. The movement emerged in the 1970s and gained momentum in the 1980s in Punjab. Supporters of the Khalistan movement argue for self-determination and seek to establish a sovereign Sikh nation separate from India.

The Indian government has consistently maintained its position against the creation of a separate Sikh state, emphasizing the unity and integrity of the country.

Last updated: July 04, 2023 | 12:15
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