Amid India-Canada row, Indian envoy to UK Vikram Doraiswami stopped from entering Scotland Gurdwara; BJP condemns act | Mint – Mint

The Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Vikram Doraiswami was stopped 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.
“…They are hurting Sikhs in Canada and other places, every Sikh should protest against any Indian Ambassador like we did here in Glasgow,” a man is heard saying in the video as reported by ANI.
A post shared by Sikh Youth UK (@sikhyouthuk)
This incident comes amid the ongoing diplomatic row between India and Canada over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on 18 June. The ‘Sikh Youth UK’ claimed 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 in the video as reported by news agency ANI.
First reported by TOI, a pro-Khalistan activist told the daily that the Indian High Commissioner was supposed to hold a meeting with the gurdwara committee of the Glasgow Gurdwara on Albert Drive. “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,” the activist told TOI as reported by ANI.
“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 added.
Reacting to this, BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa strongly condemned the incident. He said, “I strongly condemn this (that Vikram Doraiswami was allegedly stopped from entering a gurdwara in Scotland)… Anyone from any religion or community can come here (Gurdwara)… We are not that religion that believes in violence instead we are among those who are saviours of humanity… Sikhs are the saviours… PM Modi has praised the work of our community… Sikhs are represented everywhere in the world… The safest place for the Sikhs in the world is in India…”
Amid the India Canada row, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar 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.
While 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”.
Earlier on 19 September, UK government spokesperson had said that Britain is in close touch with its Canadian partners about ‘serious allegations’ from Ottawa that the Indian government was involved in Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing.
In an official statement, the spokesperson said, “We are in close touch with our Canadian partners about these serious allegations. It would be inappropriate to comment further during the ongoing investigation by the Canadian authorities.”
(With inputs from ANI)
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