Diplomats and officials representing India will not be allowed to enter gurdwaras across Canada, a group of office-bearers from more than a dozen gurdwaras decided, the Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.

The decision was made at a meeting in Brampton, a suburb of Toronto, on December 30 (pictured above). A statement signed by those who attended the meeting said several gurdwara committees decided on the ban “keeping in mind the interference of Indian Consular and Indian Government officials in the lives of Canadian Sikhs”.

The statement said the managements of the gurdwaras had the “right to bar entry to officials of the Indian Government including, but not limited, to Indian elected officials, Indian Consular officials, and members of organisations who seek to undermine the Sikh nation and Sikh institutions”.

“The Indian government interferes too much in the community,” Gurpreet Singh Bal, the president of the Ontario Khalsa Darbar in Mississauga told the newspaper.

Bal, however, said the ban is only on people visiting the gurdwaras in their official capacity. “Gurdwara is open for everyone, but when they are on official basis, that’s not allowed,” he said.

Ontario Gurdwaras Committee spokesperson Amarjit Mann told the Hindustan Times that the managements of 15 gurdwaras in the Greater Toronto Area had “jointly agreed” to the decision.