On September 29, 2023, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami, was stopped from entering a gurdwara in Glasgow, Scotland. This comes amidst the diplomatic row between India and Canada over the death of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Details of the Video
According to the purported video, posted on the Instagram Channel of Sikh Youth UK, a man reportedly a pro-Khalistani activist, was seen blocking Doraiswami from entering Gurudwara in Glasgow on Albert Drive. The man in the video was saying, “They are hurting Sikhs in Canada and other places. Every Sikh must protest against any Indian ambassador like we did here in Glasgow.”
The video shows the two men near the car of the High Commissioner in the parking area One of them is seen opening the car door, which was locked from inside. The purported video then shows the car of the High Commissioner car leaving the Gurudwara premises.
The video then shows another man speaking to a camera that this is how any ambassador or any other Indian government official who visits the Gurudwara will be treated. “ We know what games they are playing, what happens in Canada. The PM has openly condemned India and expelled the diplomats,” he said.
Account By Khalistani activist
A pro-Khalistani activist told a media agency that the Indian High Commissioner was supposed to hold a meeting with the gurudwara committee of Glasgow, Albert Drive. The activist said: “A few people came and told him that he is not welcome and he left. There was a slight confrontation. I do not think that the Gurudwara Committee is too happy about what happened. But the Indian officials are not welcome in any gurudwara in the UK.
“We are fed up with the Uk-India collusion. The recent tensions since the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing have led to British Sikhs being targeted. This is to do with Avtar Singh Khanda and Jagatr Singh Johal, too. Meanwhile, a formal reaction from the Indian High Commission In London and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on this incident is waiting.
This incident in the UK comes amid a growing strain in India-Canada ties following Justin Trudeau’s allegations against Indian government agents behind the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has called and rejected the claims by saying that they are unmotivated and absurd. Notably, Canada has yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim of killing Nijjar by India.
Reaction by MEA Chief
The External Affairs Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar has highlighted the incidents of the threats and violence coupled with 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 another country. He further emphasised that the incident in Ottawa should not be normalised.
Addressing a press conference In Washington, DC, on September 29, 2023, Jaishankar said, “Our Point is that today there is a climate of violence, an atmosphere of intimidation. Just think about it. We have smoke bombs thrown at the mission. We have had consulates witnessing violence in front of them. The individuals have been targeted and intimidated, and there are posters put up about people.
Meanwhile, the UK government has said that it is in close touch with its Canadian partners about the serious allegations made by PM Trudeau on India’s Link in the alleged assassination of Nijjar. A UK spokesperson said, “We are in close touch with our Canadian partners about these allegations. It would be inappropriate to comment further on the investigation by Canadian authorities, the official said.
Very recently, the Security Minister of the UK, Tom Tugendhat, announced new funding to enhance the British capability to tackle pro-Khalistani extremism. He made the announcement after a meeting with Jaishankar in the national capital on August 10, 2023, the UK 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 done underway between India and the UK through the Joint Extremism Task Force, the British High Commission said in a statement.