HomeIndian AmericanRally held in support of Indian Consulate in SF after fire

Rally held in support of Indian Consulate in SF after fire

Indian Americans gathered outside the Indian consulate in San Francisco on Friday with drums, flags and slogans in response to a fire allegedly set to the building in a pro-Khalistan attack. The fire caused no injuries or major damage to the building, and police have announced they are investigating the incident.

The Khalistan movement advocates for the creation of an independent Sikh nation-state in the Punjab, a geographical region in India and Pakistan, under the name Khalistan.

A group of Khalistan supporters allegedly attempted to set fire to the consulate on July 2nd, the blaze quickly being extinguished by the San Francisco Fire Department. On Twitter, U.S. State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller responded to the fire, criticizing the alleged attack as illegal without mentioning the Khalistani movement by name.

According to the Statesman, counter-protestors carried banners reading “We stand with our diplomats” and “Khalistani Attack on the Consulate is an act of terrorism” while chanting Indian nationalist slogans.

One was the controversial “Akhand Bharat Zindabad,” meaning “Long Live Undivided India,” a concept which asserts that Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and sometimes Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Tibet are parts of the Indian nation and thus should be part of the same nation-state.

Other slogans used included “Vande Mataram,” meaning “I praise you, Motherland,” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai,” which literally translates to “Praises to Mother India.”

This arson is the second alleged attack on the consulate in 2023. Protesters were accused of breaking windows, painting graffiti and injuring workers in March, which also drew a round of pro-India counter-protests.

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