People all over the world watched in horror on Wednesday as a swarm of US President Donald Trump’s supporters clashed with regulation enforcement authorities, tore down metallic barricades, and broke into the historic Capitol constructing. However, observers in India had been fast to discover an anomaly within the dystopian visuals— a lone Indian tricolour fluttering amidst a sea of American and Trump flags.
The flag bearer was later recognized as 54-year-old Virginia-based entrepreneur Vincent Xavier Palanthigal, who moved to the United States from Kochi in 1992. A member of the Virginia Republican Party’s State Central Committee, Vincent says that he had no intention of defaming the nationwide flag.
“It was because of my patriotic fervour and love that I took the Indian flag. Not to defame it or give it a bad name,” he informed the indianexpress.com. Since the assault on the Capitol constructing, the picture of the tricolour has stirred up a storm on social media, with tons of of indignant Indians questioning what the nationwide flag was doing within the center of the chaos.
“Why is there an Indian flag there??? This is one fight we definitely don’t need to participate in,” BJP MP Varun Gandhi tweeted. Shiv Sena spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi, too, condemned the bearer of the flag. “Whoever is waving this Indian flag should feel ashamed. Don’t use our tricolour to participate in such violent & criminal acts in another country,” she wrote.
Why is there an Indian flag there??? This is one combat we positively don’t want to take part in… pic.twitter.com/1dP2KtgHvf
— Varun Gandhi (@varungandhi80) January 7, 2021
But Vincent insisted that he had nothing to do with the “miscreants” who wreaked havoc within the Capitol constructing. Since yesterday, he has been fielding fixed calls from journalists in an try to “clear his name”.
“I have not slept all night,” he stated.
On Wednesday, Vincent, together with a bunch of 10 different Indian Americans, had been taking part in a Trump rally in Washington DC to protest in opposition to the Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win within the 2020 election. Carrying the flag was their means of representing the Indian American neighborhood, he claimed.
“The rally was very peaceful, as most Trump rallies are. We marched from the White House lawn to the Capitol in a very disciplined way. Initially, it was a very celebratory event. There was laughing and singing — it was like a festival in India,” he recalled. “Trump rallies are usually very fun events. There are always a million American flags as well as flags from other countries.”
It was solely as soon as that they had arrived on the historic constructing that mayhem ensued. “We saw people climbing the walls with their claws like animals, which is very difficult for regular people to do.”
A gaggle of armed and indignant rioters managed to breach barricades and advance into the halls of the Capitol constructing, smashing home windows and brawling with cops in what’s extensively being thought-about one of the worst safety breaches in US historical past. The protesters roamed by way of the halls freely, some even coming into and looting the places of work utilized by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and different lawmakers.
Meanwhile, Vincent stated he knew little of what was transpiring contained in the Capitol constructing. “The internet was jammed and we were not getting any news. I had to call my wife and ask her to turn on the news. It was only then that I found out that they had managed to get inside and were destroying property,” he defined.
Currently, federal prosecutors and the FBI are going by way of images and movies from the riots to establish these concerned. Wednesday’s pro-Trump demonstrators, together with Vincent, may probably face a bunch of fees, together with seditious conspiracy, which carries a most doable jail sentence of 20 years. At least 52 individuals have already been arrested for his or her alleged involvement within the assault.
“Some participants in yesterday’s violence will be charged today, and we will continue to methodically assess evidence, charge crimes and make arrests in the coming days and weeks to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law,” performing Attorney General Jeffrey A Rosen stated in an announcement on Thursday.
A graduate from Trishul Engineering College, Vincent is at the moment the Executive Vice President of a Virginia-based IT companies agency known as Amaram Technology Corporation.
Several lawmakers, together with members of the Republican occasion, have blamed Trump for the violence that broke out in and across the Capitol. At a rally held in Ellipse park, close to the White House on Wednesday, lawmakers and critics had accused President Trump of directing his followers to head to Capitol Hill.
The latest assault additionally appeared to have deepened the divide inside the Trump administration as a number of of his key aides resigned following the incident.