The U.S. State Department has condemned the recent arson attack on the Indian Consulate in San Francisco.
What happened: The San Francisco Fire Department was called about a small fire that started outside the Indian Consulate on Arguello Boulevard on Sunday morning at around 1:45 a.m. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, and no major damage or injuries were reported.
Condemning the incident: State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller condemned the attack in a tweet on Monday, writing: “Vandalism or violence against diplomatic facilities or foreign diplomats in the U.S. is a criminal offense.”
Who was responsible: Supporters of Khalistan, a Sikh extremist separatist movement, allegedly claimed responsibility for the attack. A video circulating online, verified by DiyaTV, shows how the fire started.
The video is accompanied by onscreen text that reads, “Violence Begets Violence,” which is reportedly a reference to the alleged killings of Khalistan leaders in Canada, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.
Other attacks: The recent attack on the consulate came a few months after the building was vandalized with graffiti that read, “AKF,” “Long Live Khalistan” and “Free Amritpal Singh,” a Sikh separatist who was arrested in India in April.
The graffiti incident, which occurred in March, was reportedly made by Sikh protesters in response to the Indian authorities’ crackdown on Singh.
Images of India’s ambassador to Canada, Australia, Italy and the U.S. were also used on posters that allegedly depicted them as “killers.”
Aftermath: Lieutenant Jonathan Baxter with the San Francisco Fire Department noted that they were made aware of the circulating video but stated that officials could not reportedly confirm its authenticity.