New Delhi [India]: BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa has condemned the incident where Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Vikram Doraiswami was allegedly stopped from entering a gurdwara in Scotland.
“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)...,” Sirsa told ANI.
“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...,” the BJP leader said.
Sira said that anyone from any religion or community can visit a gurdwara and that the safest place for the Sikhs in the world is in India.
The BJP’s leader’s remarks come after the Indian envoy Doraiswami was on Friday 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.
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 Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has also condemned the action. SGPC General Secretary Grewal said that the UK Envoy should not have been stopped from entering the gurdwara and that gurdwara is for every religion.
He further said that he is still not aware about the reason behind why the envoy was stopped and pointed out that such behaviour was not right.
The purported video released on Instagram by the Sikh group in UK shows two men near the High Commissioner’s car in the parking area of the Glasgow gurdwara. 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 was cited by the daily 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.