“Khalistani vandals” make US swear by Vienna Convention resolve
Washington DC: The United States of America today (IST) condemned the attack on an Indian journalist by pro-Khalistani elements while he was covering a “Khalistan protest’” here over the weekend on March 25, 2023.
Stating that attacks against journalists “are never acceptable”, a US State Department spokesperson said, “We condemn any incidents of violence against a member of the media just doing their job and any act of violence or vandalism against a diplomatic facility as well.”
The life of Indian journalist Lalit Jha, who works for the Press Trust of India, could be saved because of the timely intervention of the US Secret Service. The attackers were abusing the Indian ambassador and the Indian community, and Jha could escape with bruises.
The journalist was first verbally intimidated, then physically assaulted, and fearing for his personal safety and well-being, had to call in law enforcement agencies, who responded promptly.
The Indian embassy here issued an assault report and statement condemning “such a grave and unwarranted attack on a senior journalist”. It stated that such activities only underscore the violent and anti-social tendencies of the so-called ‘Khalistani protestors’ and their supporters, “who routinely engage in wanton violence and vandalism”.
“We have seen disturbing visuals of a senior Indian journalist from the Press Trust of India being abused, threatened & assaulted physically,” the Indian Embassy said and thanked the law enforcement agencies for their “prompt response” in the matter, in a press release on March 25.
It may be mentioned that the Indian American community in the U.S. are under fear from the Khalistani elements, ever since the Indian Consulate in San Francisco was vandalized, and also one of the diplomats was beaten up about two weeks ago.
Today a journalist raised the matter during a US State Department press conference that now these “Khalistani elements” are still sitting in front of the Consulate and people cannot go and come out and go in for services like passports and visas and all those services, and they are under fear. “And police have not done anything, and still, no one was arrested, and still the same people are sitting there who vandalized,” the State Department was told.
Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel, while reiterating its condemnation of the recent violent incidents that took place during protests at Indian diplomatic facilities in the United States, stated that consistent with its Vienna Convention obligations, the State Department “is committed to taking all appropriate steps, including coordination with federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities, to protect the safety and security of these facilities and the diplomatic individuals who work within them as well”.
Patel added: “Look, we support the First Amendment rights of protesters, and we support the engagement of free speech activities. However, violence or the threat of violence is never an acceptable form of protest.”
– global bihari bureau