India on Friday said it expects to see action against the perpetrators of vandalism at its missions abroad and hoped the host governments would prosecute those involved in these incidents instead of holding out assurances.
Addressing the weekly briefing, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said New Delhi also expects the host governments to take measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
Indian missions in London, British Columbia, and San Francisco were vandalised recently, allegedly by pro-Khalistan activists following the police action against radical preacher Amritpal Singh in Punjab.
"I think we are not just interested in assurances, I think we would like to see action," the External Affairs Ministry spokesman said.
Bagchi said India had raised the issue with the authorities in Canada, where the Indian High Commissioner was forced to cancel an event appearance.
"It is our expectation that in any country our diplomats can perform their legitimate and normal diplomatic duties and functions and that the host government will ensure a conducive environment for doing so," he said.
Responding to questions about foreign leaders and parliamentarians commenting on the action against Amritpal Singh, Bagchi urged people residing abroad not to believe "inaccurate and motivated narratives" that are being circulated by some elements on social media.
"Authorities in Punjab are undertaking operations to nab a fugitive. Information regarding that operation is being shared by authorities concerned on a regular basis," the spokesman said.
He said the Ministry of External Affairs had shared "incident reports" on the developments that took place outside the Indian High Commission in London with the Ministry of Home Affairs, but refused to state whether it mentioned participation of Indian nationals in the vandalism of the mission.
"I am not going to divulge the incident report. This is now a legal matter. It is a security matter. We have shared the incident report and let the concerned authorities now take that forward," he said.
The external affairs ministry spokesperson also refused to comment on reports about the reduction of security outside the residence of the British High Commissioner and the British High Commission in Delhi.
"We cannot comment on matters relating to the security of foreign missions in India," he said.
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