Khalistani Protesters Heckle Indian Envoy Visiting US Gurdwara


New York; NDTV reports: A group of Khalistani protesters heckled Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian Ambassador to the US, at a New York gurdwara yesterday. Mr Sandhu was visited Hicksville Gurdwara in Long Island on the occasion of Gurpurab when the protesters surrounded him and started shouting.
They accused him of plotting the assassination of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar and also conspiring to get another terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun murdered.

A video of the exchange between Mr Sandhu and the Khalistani protesters has now gone viral. The video starts with the envoy telling the protesters that he is visiting the gurdwara for seva (service).

A protester is heard shouting in Punjabi, “You are responsible for the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. You plotted to kill Pannun.”

Others in the video are seen trying to defuse the situation. The protesters follow Mr Sandhu and are heard asking, “Why don’t you answer?”

“Khalistanies tried to heckle Indian Ambassador @SandhuTaranjitS with baseless Questions for his role in the failed plot to assassinate Gurpatwant, (SFJ) and Khalistan Referendum campaign,” BJP’s national spokesperson RP Singh wrote in a video post on X.

Mr Singh said the protest was led by Himmat Singh. “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.”

Mr Sandhu later posted on X about his visit to the gurdwara but did not mention the heckling he faced. “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,” he wrote.

Khalistani terrorist Nijjar was shot dead by masked men at a parking lot in Canada’s British Columbia. Months later, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged the role of Indian agents in the killing, sparking a massive diplomatic row. India has trashed the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated”. In recent remarks, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said India is not ruling out an investigation but wants Canada to provide evidence backing its allegations.

Earlier this month, Financial Times reported that US authorities had thwarted a conspiracy to kill Pannun, leader of Khalistani organisation Sikhs for Justice, on American soil. Asked about the report, the White House said the US is “treating a reported plot to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil with utmost seriousness” and has raised the issue with the Indian government “at the senior-most levels”. White House spokesperson Adrienne Watson said Indian authorities had “expressed surprise and concern” in the matter and “stated that activity of this nature was not their policy”.

Responding to questions, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told the media, “India takes such inputs seriously since it impinges on our own national security interests as well. Issues in the context of US inputs are already being examined by relevant departments.”