Indian envoy Taranjit Singh Sandhu ‘heckled’ at US gurdwara, BJP reacts | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Indian envoy Taranjit Singh Sandhu ‘heckled’ by pro-Khalistan group at US gurdwara, BJP reacts

Nov 27, 2023 12:06 PM IST

Taranjit Singh Sandhu can be seen being confronted by a mob who were making statements about Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian ambassador to the United States, was allegedly heckled by a group of pro-Khalistani elements while on a visit to the Hicksville Gurdwara in New York's Long Island. Sandhu had gone to the gurdwara to offer prayers on the occasion of Gurpurab.

Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian ambassador to the United States, at Hicksville Gurdwara in New York's Long Island.
Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian ambassador to the United States, at Hicksville Gurdwara in New York's Long Island.

Sandhu can be purportedly seen in a video being confronted by the mob who were making statements about India-designated terrorists Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

Sharing a purported video on social media X, Bharatiya Janata Party national spokesperson RP Singh wrote, “Khalistanies tried to heckle Indian Ambassador @SandhuTaranjitS with basless Questions for his role in the failed plot to assassinate Gurpatwant, (SFJ) and Khalistan Referendum campaign.”

“Himmat Singh who led the pro Khalistanies at Hicksville Gurdwara in New York also accused ambassador Sandhu for India’s role in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was President of Surrey Gurdwara and the coordinator for Canadian Chapter of the Khalistan Referendum,” Singh added.

The Indian envoy could be seen leaving the premises in his vehicle, while a protestor raised the Khalistani flag outside the Gurdwara.

Later, without mentioning the heckling he faced, Sandhu posted on X, “Privileged to join the local Sangat, including from Afghanistan, at Guru Nanak Darbar of Long Island in celebrating Gurpurab- listened to Kirtan, spoke about Guru Nanak's everlasting message of togetherness, unity, and equality, partook langar, and sought blessings for all."

There has been a spike in pro-Khalistani incidents in countries like the US, Canada, the UK and Australia.

Indo-Canadian community confronts pro-Khalistan elements

Devotees and members of the Indo-Canadian community in the town of Surrey in British Columbia confronted pro-Khalistan elements who had come to protest a consular camp at the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir on Sunday.

According to temple officials nearly 200 counter-protestors faced off for over three hours against the pro-Khalistan protest, which had been called by the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice or SFJ.

The two groups faced off across the road in front of the temple as Surrey Police deployed nearly 20 personnel to keep them apart.

The banned Sikhs for Justice has warned the Hindu community to “stop sponsoring” the killers of its principal in the province Hardeep Singh Nijjar. He was killed on June 18 in Surrey.

Nijjar’s killing led to a rupture in relations with India after Trudeau’s statement in the House of Commons on September 18 that there were “credible allegations” of a potential link between his murder and Indian agents. Part of the information that led to that statement came from the US. India had described those allegations as “absurd” and “motivated.”

Vandalism at Indian consulate in San Francisco

In July, a group of Khalistan extremists had indulged in an arson attack on the Indian consulate in San Francisco. After a probe was launched into the incident, India requested evidence from the US authorities regarding suspects of the attack under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) in connection with the case.

In a separate incident in March, the Indian Consulate in San Francisco came under attack from suspected Khalistani elements. After the incident, India had registered its "strong protest" with the United States calling for "appropriate measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents"

This was the second such incident involving the heckling of an Indian envoy by pro-Khalistan elements in a span of around two months.

Indian high commissioner to UK was stopped

Earlier in September, Indian high commissioner to the United Kingdom Vikram Doraiswami was stopped from entering a Gurdwara in Glasgow, Scotland.

According to a purported video posted on the Instagram channel of 'Sikh Youth UK,' a pro-Khalistani activist was seen blocking Doraiswami from entering the Glasgow Gurdwara on Albert Drive.

Following this, India had taken up its concerns regarding the security of diplomats and premises with the UK authorities.

Last week, the US had also shared some inputs pertaining to the nexus between organised criminals, gun runners, terrorists and others during the course of recent discussions on India-US security cooperation, the ministry of external affairs had said in a statement.

(With inputs from Anirudh Bhattacharyya in Toronto)

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