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Video: Indian diplomat to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu heckled by Khalistani backers outside Hicksville gurdwara

According to sources, a few supporters of the Khalistani movement tried to disrupt the Indian envoy by making statements about terrorists Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, after he received a rousing welcome at the Hicksville Gurdwara. During the event, Sandhu assured the members of the Sikh community that Indian diplomats would provide all help and support to them.

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New York: The recent encounter at the Hicksville Gurdwara in Long Island, New York, where Indian Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu was surrounded by Khalistani supporters, illuminates the intricate dynamics of the Khalistani movement and its impact on diplomatic relations. A group of Khalistani protesters heckled Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian Ambassador to the US, at a New York gurdwara yesterday. The Khalistani supporters were later escorted out of the gurdwara’s premises by members of the Sikh community.

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“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, & equality, partook langar, and sought blessings for all,” Sandhu posted on X on Sunday.

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The Khalistani movement, centered on the demand for an independent Sikh state, Khalistan, emerged during the turbulent era of the 1980s in India. Despite its growth over the years, the movement continues to resonate with certain sections of the Sikh diaspora in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The recent incident involving Ambassador Sandhu is part of a series of confrontations globally, underscoring the international nature of the Khalistani movement and the challenges it poses for Indian diplomats and officials.

According to sources, a few supporters of the Khalistani movement tried to disrupt the Indian envoy by making statements about terrorists Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, after he received a rousing welcome at the Hicksville Gurdwara. During the event, Sandhu assured the members of the Sikh community that Indian diplomats would provide all help and support to them.

The Indian Ambassador was accompanied by Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal and Deputy Consul General Varun Jeph at the event and spoke on the historical linkages between Sikh Gurus, Sikhs and Afghanistan.

In retaliation to the incident, BJP national spokesperson RP Singh said, “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.”

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“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,” he further said.

The incident highlights the complex interrelationship between diplomatic relations, security concerns and migration politics. The allegations against Ambassador Sandhu highlight deep grievances held by some within the Sikh community and raise questions about the broader implications of India’s diplomatic efforts.

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The involvement of designated terrorists such as Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in such conflicts further complicates the scenario, highlighting the complex relationship between security concerns, international activism and the challenges of addressing radicalized elements within migrant communities.

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