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American-Sikh body calls for accountability after heckling of Indian envoy at New York gurdwara
Indian Envoy

American-Sikh body calls for accountability after heckling of Indian envoy at New York gurdwara

| @indiablooms | 29 Nov 2023, 02:07 pm

The sanctity of a place of worship was disrupted over the weekend as India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, faced heckling during his visit to a New York gurdwara. The incident has sparked outrage from the American-Sikh community, urging the gurdwara’s management to take decisive action against those responsible.

Sikhs of America, a prominent Sikh organization in the United States, issued a statement on Monday, condemning the disruption of Ambassador Sandhu’s visit to the Hicksville gurdwara in Long Island, New York. The organization emphasized that gurdwaras are sacred places meant for worship, and they should remain free from personal political views.

The episode unfolded on Gurpurab, a day of special significance for Sikhs, as Ambassador Sandhu participated in prayers at the gurdwara. However, a group of individuals, identified as Khalistani supporters, heckled him and raised questions about Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Khalistani separatist who was killed in Canada in June of the same year. Videos of the incident circulated on social media, depicting the disruptive behavior that transpired during the Ambassador’s visit.

Members of the Sikh community promptly escorted the hecklers out of the gurdwara, reaffirming their commitment to maintaining the sanctity of the place of worship. Sikhs of America expressed their concern in the statement, urging the gurdwara’s management to take strict action against the individuals involved to ensure a peaceful and fear-free environment for the Sikh community.

Jasdip Singh Jassee, founder and chairman of Sikhs of America, along with its president Kanwaljit Singh Soni, stated in the joint release, “Ambassador Sandhu went to the gurdwara to pray, and the management honoured him with a siropa. After that, a handful of miscreants tried to disrespect him and violated the peace and sanctity of the gurdwara. Gurdwaras are places of worship and should be free from personal political views.”

The statement further emphasized that Sikhs of America, as the leading Sikh organization in the US, strongly condemns the disrespect shown to Ambassador Sandhu, who is not only a diplomat but also a Sikh devotee.

As this incident raises concerns about maintaining the sanctity of religious spaces, the broader Sikh community anticipates swift action from the gurdwara’s management to address the issue and prevent such disruptions in the future. The call for accountability resonates with the fundamental principles of respect and tolerance that are integral to the Sikh faith.

(Text and image courtesy: Khalsavox.com)

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