US Congressman Ro Khanna has condemned the “unconscionable” attack by Khalistani elements on the Indian Consulate in San Francisco and stated that there is no place for a separatist movement in India.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Khanna said, “It was unconscionable; there was no place for that. I condemned it very strongly. There can be no violence against an embassy against a consulate in America, and there’s no space for a separatist movement. Punjab is part of India, and that is a settled question. We need to make sure everyone is treated equally, whether Hindu, Christian, Sikh, or Muslim, but Punjab is a part of India.”
Khanna is in India, leading a high-powered delegation of US members of Congress. Earlier, in July, a group of pro-Khalistan supporters allegedly attempted to set fire to the Indian consulate in San Francisco. There was neither major damage nor any injuries, and police are continuing their investigation into the incident.
A video of the incident was verified by sources, who told ANI that the fire was suppressed quickly by the San Francisco Fire Department. Terming the attack as nothing less than a “terror act,” an official told ANI that no major damages or staffers were harmed. The Local San Francisco police department, special diplomatic security personnel, and state and federal authorities were notified and immediately began investigating the incident. Earlier in March this year, Khalistani supporters vandalized the consulate.
Meanwhile, during his India visit, US Congressman Khanna met with actor Amitabh Bachchan in Mumbai. “First of all, the meeting with Amitabh Bhachchan was such an extraordinary moment. He spent almost an hour. My phone was buzzing with texts from around the world. I mean, he’s a national icon. And that was a great honor,” Khanna said after his meeting with the superstar on Saturday.
Khanna and Michael Waltz, who are co-chairs of the House India caucus, will attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address from the Red Fort on Independence Day on Tuesday. Khanna said, “It’s going to be a great honour to be at the Red Fort with the Prime Minister and see India’s Independence Day celebration. As you know, my grandfather spent years in jail with Lala Lajpat Rai… So to see India’s Independence as a member of Congress is a great honour.”
Khanna and Waltz co-chair the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. The caucus is a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers committed to strengthening the relationship between the United States and India. On their India visit, Congressmen Khanna and Waltz are joined by Reps. Deborah Ross (NC-D), Kat Cammack (FL-R), Shri Thanedar (MI-D), and Jasmine Crockett (TX-D) as well as fellow Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans members Reps. Rich McCormick (GA-R) and Ed Case (HI-D).