Indian Journalist Claims He Was Attacked, Abused By Pro-Khalistan Supporter In US Outside Indian Embassy – Watch
New Delhi: Lalit Jha, an Indian journalist based in Washington, alleged that he was physically assaulted and verbally abused by pro-Khalistan supporters while covering a protest outside the Indian Embassy on March 20. Jha shared a video of the incident on his Twitter handle. and thanked the US Secret Service for protecting him. He said he was hit on his left ear with two sticks by pro-Khalistan supporters and had to call 911 for safety fearing physical assault.
However, the journalist decided to take no action against those who heckled him. Jha told the news agency ANI, “The pro-Khalistan protestors…descended upon the embassy in the presence of the US Secret Service. They even openly threatened to vandalize the embassy and threatened the Indian Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu.”
Watch the video shared by the journalist:
(Warning: Abusive language)
Thank you @SecretService 4 my protection 2 day 4 helping do my job, otherwise I would have been writing this from hospital. The gentleman below hit my left ear with these 2 sticks & earlier I had to call 9/11 & rushed 2 police van 4 safety fearing physical assault. pic.twitter.com/IVcCeP5BPG
— Lalit K Jha Lalit K Jha (@lalitkjha) March 25, 2023
The protesters included turbaned men of all ages who raised pro-Khalistan slogans and made anti-India speeches.
The Indian embassy in Washington DC also responded to the video of the alleged attack on the journalist.
We have seen disturbing visuals of a senior Indian journalist from Press Trust of India being abused, threatened & physically assaulted while covering so called ‘Khalistan protest’ in Washington DC. We understand that the journalist was first verbally intimidated, then physically… https://t.co/Z3YikMu8OS pic.twitter.com/WP9eVcM08R — ANI (@ANI) March 26, 2023
In a press release on its website, the embassy stated, “We have seen disturbing visuals of a senior Indian journalist from Press Trust of India being abused, threatened & physically assaulted while covering so-called ‘Khalistan protest’ in Washington DC. We understand that 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.”
In addition to this incident, the Indian Consulate in San Francisco was attacked on March 20 by a group of separatist Sikhs who used Khalistan flags to break through makeshift security barriers and installed two Khalistan flags inside the premises.
The US strongly condemned the attack on the Indian Consulate and pledged to defend the safety and security of diplomatic facilities as well as the diplomats who work within them. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said via Twitter that the US is committed to the safety and security of Indian diplomats and confirmed that the State Department is in touch with local law enforcement authorities.