Khalistan row: Several pro-Khalistan supporters on Monday gathered outside the Indian High Commission in London to stage protests. The demonstrations took place amid the heavy presence of British security forces at the building.
Khalistan supporters claimed that they were staging the protest over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
The movement of Khalistani protesters has been restricted to the opposite side of the Indian High Commission building. Similar protests have been held in the United Kingdom in July against Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami and India's Consul General to Birmingham Shashank Vikram since Nijjar was shot dead by unknown gunmen on June 18 in Canada's British Columbia province.
Indian High Commissioner denied entry to gurdwara in Scotland
The protest comes on the heels of Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami's denial of entry to a gurdwara in Glasgow, Scotland a few days ago by some "extremist elements".
A video was posted on the Instagram handle of 'Sikh Youth UK', in which a man, allegedly a Khalistani supporter, was seen blocking Doraiswami from entering the Glasgow Gurdwara in Scotland and said, "...They are hurting Sikhs in Canada and other places, every Sikh should protest against any Indian Ambassador as we did here in Glasgow."
"On September 29, 2023, three persons— all from areas outside Scotland—deliberately disrupted a planned interaction organized by the Gurudwara Committee for the community, the High Commissioner and the Consul General of India. This interaction was to discuss community and consular issues," the Indian High Commission said in a statement.
The Glasgow Gurdwara on Saturday 'strongly' condemned the incident of the Indian High Commission to the United Kingdom being stopped from attending the religious site. It further said that the 'unruly individuals' continued to disturb the congregation, adding that the Scotland Police has taken cognizance in the matter.
“Glasgow Gurdwara strongly condemns such disorderly behaviour to disrupt the peaceful proceedings of a Sikh place of worship. The Gurdwara is open to people from all communities and backgrounds, and we welcome everyone openly as per our principles of faith,” the statement added.
The incident has also drawn condemnation from several British MPs. The UK's Minister of State for the Indo-Pacific, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, on Saturday said she was 'concerned' to learn that Indian envoy Doraiswami had been stopped from meeting the Gurudwara Committee in Glasgow. Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Trevelyan said the security and safety of foreign places are of utmost importance and places of worship in the United Kingdom should be open to all.
Khalistan row between India and Canada
Nijjar, a designated terrorist in India, is the centre of a diplomatic standoff between India and Canada that erupted following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's "baseless" allegations against India. While speaking at the Canadian Parliament, Trudeau alleged New Delhi's agents behind the killing of Khalistani terrorist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar-- a claim that India rejected multiple times and in fact on the global stage.
Notably, this came at a time when Canada was defending anti-India movements in the country under the guise of "free speech" in the country.
India angrily rejected the Canadian PM's allegations as "absurd" and "motivated" and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to a similar move by Ottawa. India also temporarily suspended visa services for Canadian nationals in view of "security threats" and called for a reduction of Canadian diplomats in New Delhi.
Earlier on Monday and Tuesday, MEA S Jaishankar rejected Canada's claims from the platform of the United Nations General Assembly and at a private event respectively. He highlighted the “organised crime, related to secessionist forces, violence and extremism” in Canada, raising concerns over them being “very permissive” due to political reasons.
“In the last few years, Canada actually has seen a lot of organized crime, relating to the secessionist forces, organized crime, violence and extremism. They're all very, very deeply mixed up. So in fact, we have been talking about specifics and information,” Jaishankar said.
(with ANI inputs)