Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Vikram Doraiswami and Consul General Bijay Selvaraj were stopped from entering a gurudwara in Glasgow, Scotland on Friday. India described the incident as “disgraceful”.
A video of the incident that took place on Friday showed Doraiswami leaving the gurudwara compound for his car. Two men are then seen trying to open the vehicle’s door but are stopped by another person there.
Unidentified officials told The Indian Express that the small group had gathered outside the gurudwara and shouted slogans ahead of Doraiswami’s visit.
In its statement on Saturday, the Indian High Commission in London said three men who were involved in the incident were “non-local extremists”.
“The organizers [of the visit] included senior community leaders, ladies and committee members, and a member of Scottish Parliament,” it said. “They were threatened and abused by these elements. In an effort to prevent any potential altercation, the HC [high commissioner] and CG [consul general] decided to leave the premises shortly upon their arrival.”
The statement said that the attempt to open the car’s door would need police consideration. “It is due to the quick reaction of one of the organizers, who physically intervened at the car door, that a bigger incident was avoided,” it said.
The statement added that the incident has been reported to the police.
The incident came amid the deteriorating diplomatic ties between India and Canada. Ottawa alleged last week that the Indian government may be behind the killing of a Sikh separatist leader on Canadian soil.
The allegations pertained to Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of the Khalistan Tiger Force, who was shot dead in the parking lot of a gurdwara in Surrey near Vancouver on June 18. The Khalistan Tiger Force is a designated terrorist outfit in India.
India quickly dismissed Ottawa’s claims as “motivated” and asked Canada to take legal action against “anti-Indian elements” operating from its soil instead.