As the French flag was brought down to a half mast at the country’s Indian Mission Saturday, Ambassador François Richier said in a statement that at this stage “no Indian national has been identified among the casualties”. Phone lines for information on Indian tourists and visitors in Paris have been established at the Indian Embassy in Paris, he said.
Meanwhile, security has been amplified at the French Embassy in the national Capital with Delhi Police substantiating the embassy’s own guard. Barricades were placed outside the embassy gates since early morning as the news of the terror attacks in Paris trickled in.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal said “adequate” security measures have been taken around the embassy. “We are in regular touch with the embassy officials through the MEA (Ministry of External Of Affairs),” he said, adding that security at the French Embassy has remained strict since the attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015.
In his statement, the French Ambassador expressed his gratitude to the President and Prime Minister of India “for their messages of solidarity and friendship”. Referring to the attack as a “tragic ordeal”, Richier underlined that France stands united and determined to fight terrorism. “Thank you for the message of support in this most tragic hour,” the Ambassador tweeted in a reply to PM Modi’s tweet expressing anguish at the deaths in Paris.
Stating that security measures of the French diplomatic and institutional premises in India are being beefed up, Richier said, “We thank the Indian Central and state authorities for their collaboration. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families.”
The French capital was struck by a wave of terror attacks across six locations in which at least 127 people have been killed and scores injured, according to the French government. The country has declared a state of emergency and a three-day mourning following the attack.
The Indian embassy in Paris has also clarified that in line with the Schengen Area’s rules, and for security reasons, France has restored (with immediate effect) systematic checks at its borders. However, entries of Indian nationals holding a valid Schengen visa are not affected and French consular services across India continue to function normally and are issuing visas for France to Indian nationals.
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