UK Sikh MP under fire for impact on British Indian harmony
Britain's first Sikh female member of Parliament and member of the shadow cabinet, Preet Kaur Gill, came under fire on social media over a tweet she later deleted that referred to a "Hindu terrorist" behind the act of violence at Golden Temple in Amritsar.
According to several Indian media reports, the man was beaten to death on December 20 for "sacrilege". He had allegedly barged into the inner sanctum where the Guru Granth Sahib is kept and grabbed a ceremonial sword next to the book before being overpowered by guards and worshippers.
Responding to a video related to the incident posted on Twitter by UK immigration lawyer Harjap Bhangal, Labour MP Gill went on to agree with his message that it was a "clear act of terrorism".
The shadow international development secretary's now-deleted Twitter post read: "Hindu terrorist prevented from an act of violence at the Sikh Holy shrine of Harminder Sahib (Golden Temple) against Sikhs."
It attracted outrage on social media, questioning whether the politician was "trying to make this communal".
The High Commission of India in London also condemned the tweet and raised concerns over its impact on the Indian diaspora communities in the UK.
"High Commission of India is constrained to unequivocally repudiate the public comment by a Member of the British Parliament regarding a crime that occurred in India, even before the Indian law enforcement authority could investigate or comment or declare their finding," an Indian High Commission spokesperson said.
"The High Commission of India is concerned at the effect that such commentary by a foreign MP may have on inter-communal harmony and peace in the British Indian community," the spokesperson said.
Local police in Amritsar say the man was found dead when officers arrived at the scene, and an investigation is underway.