New Delhi: India has strongly raised the vandalism issue of the Indian mission in Rome by Khalistan elements with Italian authorities, even as it complimented the UK on handling the situation expertly. The vandalism incident of the Indian embassy in Rome happened just ahead of India's Republic Day.
Flags of Khalistan were raised at night, while "Khalistan Zindabad" was scribbled on the walls. A video of the incident was taken and used for propaganda on social media.
Lodging a strong protest, India highlighted that it "was an act of vandalism perpetrated by Khalistani extremists in the stealth of night" with Indian government sources pointing out that the specific incident was taken up with the Italian authorities and their concerns were conveyed.
India reminded that the safety and security of Indian diplomats and diplomatic premises is the responsibility of the Italian authorities. It expressed confidence that the Italian authorities will take action against the perpetrators and prevent such incidents from happening in the future."
New Delhi has been constantly raising its concerns with the Italian authorities and had done so recently ahead of Republic Day.
Khalistanis, especially backed by outlawed groups like Sikh for Justice (SFJ) has been active in many Western European countries and North American countries. Before Republic day, the SFJ had and its leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannu had called for the removal of the Indian flag from Red Fort and announced "$2.5 lakh" for it.
In December, Khalistani elements protested in front of the Indian high commission in London and the consulate in Birmingham as well. Back then, London's Metropolitan Police was swift in acting and arrested 13 for violating pandemic protocols. During the protest Paramjit Singh Pamma was present, who is on National Investigation Agency's most wanted list.
The Indian govt sources commended the London Metropolitan Police for the "pro active role in preventing any untoward incident at the Indian High Commission in London."
UK's strong action since 2019 has prevented any untoward acts by Khalistanis in London in front of the Indian mission. 2019 saw major protests by the Pakistani diaspora who broke the window-pane of the Indian high commission in London.
India has been in touch with many global capitals over the safety and security of Its diplomatic premises ahead of Republic Day. Tuesday, which was India's Republic saw some incidents by Khalistanis in front of the Indian mission in Washington. In December, Khalistani elements had defaced the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Washington sparking condemnation by New Delhi and the US government.