A right-wing group on Thursday vandalised the office of Pakistan International Airlines in New Delhi prompting Islamabad to take up the issue with the ministry of external affairs.
Four members of Hindu Sena, a fringe group, went to the fifth floor office of PIA at Barakhamba Road around 3:15 PM and ransacked three rooms damaging computers, furniture and other items. Police arrested one member of the group.
Owning responsibility of the incident, Hindu Sena chief Vishnu Gupta vented anger at Pakistan holding it responsible for the attacks at Pathankot air base as well as at the Indian consulate in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif recently.
"Through this act, the members of our Delhi unit have expressed their anger and sent a message to Pakistan that they should respect our sentiments and keep in mind that we are not weak," he said.
Gupta was arrested last October days after his complaint that "beef" was being served at Kerala House canteen in New Delhi was later found to be false.
In a statement in Islamabad, the Pakistan Foreign Office said its High Commission in Delhi has taken up the matter with India's external affairs ministry.
"The PIA office in New Delhi was ransacked by a group of extremists. They caused damage to the property and also harassed and threatened the PIA staff.
"The Pakistan High Commission immediately took up the matter with the ministry of external affairs, asking them to provide adequate security to the PIA offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, as well as to take action against the miscreants," the statement said.
It said Indian government assured that all necessary steps will be taken for security of the PIA offices in India.
Police said the incident is being investigated and efforts are on to nab the other three accused.
"The arrested person has been identified as Lalit Singh, who is a member of Hindu Sena. Efforts are on to nab his associates," DCP (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal told reporters.
Pamphlets left by the group at the PIA office said, "There should be no talks with Pakistan unless they take stern action against people who have caused damage to India and hand over people like Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed to India."
Police said by the time its personnel reached the spot, three members of the group had fled from the PIA office.
Security was stepped up near the PIA office after the incident. A central security force team was also rushed there later.
The PIA office here was vandalised in August 2013 too allegedly by a right wing group in the wake of the death of an Indian soldier in a ceasefire violation by Pakistan forces along the LoC.
Meanwhile, PIA tweeted that its town office in New Delhi was attacked by a mob, which damaged some property.
"An angry mob, raising anti-Pak slogans attacked PIA town office in New Delhi. Damaged computers/property. Police called in," PIA spokesperson tweeted.
Images: Policeman stand guard inside the Pakistan International Airlines office after Hindu Sena activists vandalized it in New Delhi on Thursday. Photograph: PTI Photo