NIA Releases Pictures of Pro-Khalistan Accused in Attack on Indian Consulate in San Francisco

Seeking the help of the general public in nabbing them, the probe agency issued three separate 'request for identification and information' notices against the accused. The consulate was attacked in March and July this year.

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has released pictures of 10 Khalistan supporters who were allegedly involved in the attack on the Indian consulate in San Francisco.

The Indian consulate in the United States came under attack twice this year, first in March and then again in July.

Seeking the help of the general public in nabbing them, the agency has issued three separate ‘request for identification and information’ notices against the accused, according to news agency PTI. The agency has sought information of importance that could lead to their arrest or apprehension.

While two notices carry photographs of two accused each, the third notice shows pictures of the other six accused in the case. The agency assured people that it would not reveal the identity of anyone sharing information about the accused.

The first attack, which took on the intervening night of March 18 and 19, was carried out allegedly by some Khalistani supporters, who tried to enter the consulate premises and attempted to set it on fire.

According to NIA, some “slogan-shouting Khalistani supporters” broke the makeshift security barriers put up by the San Francisco police and put up two “so-called Khalistani flags on the consulate premises”, whilst damaging the consulate building, assaulting and causing injuries to the consulate officials.

The consulate again came under attack on the intervening night of July 1 and 2, again allegedly by Khalistan supporters who tried to burn down the consulate. The local fire department put out the fire and no major damages or injuries were reported.

A video uploaded to Twitter by Khalistan supporters themselves showed that the act of arson took place on July 1-2. The video, as PTI had reported, had the words “violence begets violence” over it. It also showed news articles related to the death of Canada-based Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Nijjar was killed by unidentified masked men on June 19 when he was leaving the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, Vancouver. He was a declared terrorist in India, wanted in several cases.

The recent allegation by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stating that Canada has “credible” evidence that there is a possible Indian link in the assassination has once put a spotlight on the killing of Nijjar and the support for the separatist Khalistan movement outside India. With his statement, India-Canada diplomatic relations have reached their lowest ebb.

As for the attack in San Francisco, the NIA said it had launched a probe into the matter after registering a case on June 16 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. A team of NIA, the agency said, visited San Francisco in August in connection with investigations into the case.