The Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami, was recently denied entry to a gurdwara in Glasgow, Scotland by pro-Khalistan supporters. This comes amid rising diplomatic tensions between India and Canada over comments made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleging India’s involvement in the killing of a Khalistani separatist.

Envoy Blocked Entry, Forced to Leave

According to video footage that has emerged online, Doraiswami was blocked from entering the Glasgow Gurdwara on Albert Drive by protesters gathered near his vehicle. They were seen refusing him entry to the gurdwara, ultimately forcing the envoy to exit the premises.

Doraiswami had a planned meeting with the gurdwara committee that day. The protesters were seen threatening the gurdwara staff as well.

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Backdrop of India-Canada Row

This incident follows a row triggered by Trudeau’s claim that “Indian government agents” were involved in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

India strongly rejected the allegations as “absurd” and retaliated by expelling a senior Canadian diplomat. Tensions have been building between the two countries after India provided Canada a list of Khalistani operatives in 2018 and expressed concerns over rising secessionist activities.

Security Assurances to Indian Missions

The UK government has assured India of measures to safeguard the security of the Indian High Commission in London following the attack on the premises earlier this year.

Meanwhile, India suspended visa services in Canada and issued an advisory over security concerns and politically motivated hate crimes targeting Indians.

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Response by Indian Authorities

The Indian authorities have raised the issue of the envoy’s security breach with the UK Foreign Office and police. India had highlighted the need to ensure security of diplomats and missions abroad.

Risk of Radicalization a Shared Concern

British Security Minister Tom Tugendhat has termed radicalization of UK citizens a shared problem and promised to address any attempts to radicalize individuals.

Unequivocal Condemnation from Indian Leaders

Indian leaders have strongly condemned the gurdwara incident, stating that Sikhs are represented worldwide and anyone from any religion or community can visit gurdwaras which stand for humanitarian values.

The disturbing events have further highlighted the need for collective action to counter radicalization and safeguard diplomats. India has made its concerns clear and will expect prompt action from partner countries.

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