Saturday, September 30, 2023
Amid ongoing diplomatic tensions between Canada and India over the murder of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an Indian envoy was denied entry to Gurdwara Albert in Glasgow on Friday.
There has been a ban on Indian officials from visiting Gurdwaras in their official capacity after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of involvement in Nijjar's killing.
Sikh men, protesting the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada, confronted the Indian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Vikram Doraiswami, after which he left the Gurdwara premises.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar was the Coordinator of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) in Canada and was assassinated by Indian agents for leading the Khalistan Referendum campaign in Canada. He was also president of Canada’s biggest Gurdwara in British Columbia, where he was killed inside the holy premises. He was a close associate of Gurpwatnat Singh Pannun, the General Counsel to SFJ.
After the Indian government was held responsible for the Canadian national's killing, New Delhi and Ottawa expelled diplomats in tit-for-tat moves.
Trudeau said on September 18 that Indian agents played a role in the June murder of Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, near Vancouver.
The fallout prompted a forceful denial from India, which said any suggestion it played a role in Nijjar's killing was "absurd."
Later, the Canadian PM told the Indian government "to help uncover the truth of this matter".
"We call upon the government of India to work with us to establish processes to uncover the truth of this matter and to allow for justice and accountability to be served," Trudeau said.
Canada's allies, including the US, seem to be treading carefully in this situation which, according to political analysts, is partially due to the fact that Washington and other major countries view India as a check on China's expanding influence.
Earlier this week, India's Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar held discussions with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan regarding the Canadian allegations of India's potential involvement in the murder.
Jaishankar mentioned that during the discussions, they exchanged views and assessments on the entire situation, and he provided a comprehensive summary of his concerns. These discussions occurred at a Hudson Institute event in Washington DC.