Washington, November 28
An American-Sikh body has condemned the heckling of India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu during a visit to a New York gurdwara over the weekend and urged the shrine's management to take strict action against those involved.
In a statement issued on Monday, Sikhs of America said gurdwaras are places of worship and should be free from personal political views.
Sandhu offered prayers at the Hicksville gurdwara in Long Island, New York, on Sunday on Gurpurab.
At the gurdwara, a group of Khalistani supporters heckled him and shouted questions about Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, killed in Canada in June this year, according to videos of the incident circulating on social media.
The hecklers were escorted out by members of the Sikh community.
"We urge the management of the gurdwara to take strict action against these miscreants so that peace-loving Sikh community in New York can come to gurdwaras freely without any fear or pressure," Sikhs of America's founder and chairman Jasdip Singh Jassee and its president Kanwaljit Singh Soni said in the joint statement.
"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 said.
"Sikhs of America, the leading Sikh organisation in the US, strongly condemns the disrespect of a Sikh devotee, Ambassador of India to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu in a gurdwara in Long Island, New York, yesterday," it said.
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