Indian community leaders seek Chicago Consul General's removal



The FIA also warned in a statement that it would hold a black flag demonstration if Attri was not removed soon.

 

Iftekhar Shareef, a local businessman and trustee of the FIA, said the actions of Consul General Attri can "only be characterized as a betrayal of the people of India."

Many Indian American community leaders have earlier accused Attri of "dividing the community". Tensions between him and the community have been simmering since January 2008 when he abstained from India's Republic Day celebrations to attend an event hosted by the Pakistani community instead.

Now, some community leaders were eager to portray Attri's action then as the first signs of a "nexus" between him and the Pakistani community.

"Attri has not only disgraced the Indian American community but also insulted our patriotic spirit," said Shareef.

"By bypassing laws governing the grant of visas, Attri has clearly jeopardized India's national security," said Hyder Mohammed, the FIA president.

Other community leaders said that Attri, whose term in Chicago ends in a few months, would leave behind a "shameful legacy".

 

The FIA's resolution on Attri states that he "willfully seeks to be treated like a king" and makes crude demands that he be addressed as 'Ambassador' because he takes grave umbrage at being called a 'Consul General'. At every event, he insists on violating social protocol by demanding that he be treated as "royalty".

FIA officials also accused Attri of sabotaging the Indian Independence Day event in August by holding an official reception at the same time. Traditionally these events were held on different days.

"He is a government official who is living in the past with a behavior (reminiscent of) the fifties and sixties, and displays an arrogance and ego that disqualifies him from representing India in the USA" the FIA statement said.

During Attri's tenure, local Indian journalists who criticized the consulate's workings were unceremoniously dropped from the consulate's press releases and invitations to official events.

Attri was not immediately available for comment.

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