Indian Envoy To UK Stopped From Entering Scotland Gurdwara
Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Vikram Doraiswami was on Friday prevented from entering a gurdwara in Glasgow, Scotland.
According to a purported video posted on the Instagram channel of ‘Sikh Youth UK,’ a man reportedly a pro-Khalistani activist was seen blocking Doraiswami from entering the Glasgow Gurdwara on Albert Drive.
This comes amid a diplomatic row between India and Canada over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
“…They are hurting Sikhs in Canada and other places, every Sikh should protest against any Indian Ambassador like we did here in Glasgow,” the man is heard saying in the video.
The ‘Sikh Youth UK’ claims that there is an ongoing ban on Indian officials visiting the gurdwara in their official capacities.
The video shows two men near the High Commissioner’s car in the parking area. One of them is seen attempting to open the car door, which has been locked from the inside. The purported video then shows the high commissioner’s car leaving the gurdwara premises.
The video then shows another man speaking to the camera that this is how any Indian ambassador or any Indian government official who visits the Gurdwara will be treated.
“We know what games they are playing, what’s happening in Canada. The Canadian PM has openly condemned India and expelled Indian diplomats,” he said.
The incident was first reported by the Times of India TOI.
A pro-Khalistan activist told TOI that the Indian High Commissioner was supposed to hold a meeting with the gurdwara committee of the Glasgow Gurdwara on Albert Drive. The activist said: “A few people turned up and told him he is not welcome and he left. There was a slight confrontation. I don’t think the gurdwara committee is too happy about what happened. But Indian officials are not welcome in any gurdwara in the UK.”
“We are fed up with the UK-India collusion. The recent tensions since the Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing have led to British Sikhs being targeted. This is to do with Avtar Singh Khanda and Jagtar Singh Johal too,” he further said.
Meanwhile, a formal reaction from the Indian High Commission in London and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on the incident is awaited.
The UK incident comes amid a growing strain in India-Canada ties following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations regarding the Indian government’s involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
India has outrightly rejected the claims, calling it “absurd” and “motivated.”
Notably, Canada has yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim about the killing of Nijjar.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar has highlighted incidents of threats, violence, and intimidation against Indian diplomats and missions in Canada. He has questioned whether the reaction would have been the same if a similar situation had occurred in any other country.
He further emphasized that the situation in Ottawa should not be normalized.
Addressing a press conference in Washington DC on Friday, S Jaishankar said, “…Our point is that there is today a climate of violence, an atmosphere of intimidation…Just think about it. We have had smoke bombs thrown at the mission. We have had our consulates…violence in front of them. Individuals have been targeted and intimidated. There are posters put up about people”.
The UK has meanwhile said it is in “close touch” with its Canadian partners about serious allegations made by PM Trudeau on India’s link in the alleged assassination of Nijjar.
“We are in close touch with our Canadian partners about these serious allegations,” a UK government spokesperson told ANI.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further during the ongoing investigation by the Canadian authorities,” the official said.
Recently, the United Kingdom’s Security Minister Tom Tugendhat announced new funding to enhance the UK’s capability to tackle ‘pro-Khalistan extremism.’
Tugendhat made the announcement after a meeting with Jaishankar in the national capital on August 10, the British High Commission in India said.
The 95,000-pound investment will enhance the government’s understanding of the threat posed by pro-Khalistan extremism, complementing the joint work already underway between the UK and India through the Joint-Extremism Task Force, the British High Commission said in a statement. (ANI)
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