Indian diplomat stopped from entering UK Gurdwara by pro-Khalistani supporters amid New Delhi-Ottawa’s strained relationship

The Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami, was stopped from entering a Gurdwara in the United Kingdom by a group of Khalistani supporters amid the ongoing tension between New Delhi and Ottawa over the killing of separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada, media reports said. 

Screengrab of the incident in UK. Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from Twitter video

In a video on social media (the video has not been independently verified by IBNS), a pro-Khalistani activist was spotted blocking Doraiswami from entering the Glasgow Gurdwara on Albert Drive. 

One of the two men, who were near the High Commissioner's car in the parking area, was seen trying to open the diplomat's car which was locked from inside. 

The High Commissioner then left the premises of Gurdwara. 

The Indian government is yet to respond to the incident. 

India-Canada relationship deteriorates

India's relationship with Canada deteriorated after the latter's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on September 18 alleged New Delhi's involvement in the killing of Nijjar in June in British Columbia.

Trudeau was quoted as saying by media, "As I said on Monday, there are credible reasons to believe that agents of the Government of India were involved in the killing of a Canadian on Canadian soil."

He said, "There is something of utmost foundational importance in a country's rule of law in a world where international rules-based order matters."

He urged the Indian government to 'work' with Canada to ensure full transparency and accountability in the matter.

Shortly after the Trudeau's claims, New Delhi dismissed Ottawa's allegations about Indian agents' involvement in the murder of the Khalistani supporter- who was designated a terrorist in his home country- as "politically driven".

MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said there was a "degree of prejudice" in Canada's allegations. "They have made allegations and taken action on them. To us, it seems that these allegations by the government of Canada are primarily politically driven."

The bilateral ties between the two countries have worsened since then, with Canada and India expelling a senior diplomat each.

India has also issued a travel advisory for its nationals, particularly students, in Canada, and also those contemplating travel to the North American country, asking them to exercise utmost caution.

Jaishankar indirectly jabs at Canada at the UN

Amid the Indo-Canadian diplomatic row and continued tension with China, India on Tuesday said "political convenience" cannot be the basis for a response to terrorism or extremism, and called on the global community to respect the rules-based order and the UN Charter.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on nations to not interfere in the internal affairs of others.

Jaishankar's remarks have been interpreted as a jab at both Canada and China.

"… nor must we countenance that political convenience determines responses to terrorism, extremism and violence. Similarly, respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs cannot be exercises in cherry-picking. When reality departs from the rhetoric, we must have the courage to call it out… without genuine solidarity, there can never be real trust," he said.

"A fair, equitable and democratic order will surely emerge, once we all put our minds to it. And for a start, that means ensuring that rule makers do not subjugate rule takers. After all, rules will work only when they apply equally to all," he said, taking a jibe at the Western world.

Who was Hardeep Singh Nijjar?

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canada-based pro-Khalistan leader, was shot dead in Surrey city, British Columbia province in June.

He had been a leading figure in the Khalistan separatist movement and was closely associated with Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).

Nijjar was also serving as the president of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey.

Nijjar, a member of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), was a ‘wanted terrorist’ for his involvement in various acts of violence and subversive activities.