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India stops visa services for Canadians as diplomatic rift widens

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India stops visa services for Canadians as diplomatic rift widens

India’s visa processing middle in Canada suspended providers Thursday as a rift widened between the nations after Canada’s chief stated India might have been concerned within the killing of a Canadian citizen.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau advised Parliament on Monday that there have been “credible allegations” of Indian involvement within the assassination of Sikh independence activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who had been needed by India for years and was gunned down in June outdoors the temple he led.

Canada additionally expelled an Indian diplomat, and India adopted by expelling a Canadian diplomat on Tuesday. It known as the allegations being investigated in Canada absurd and an try to shift consideration from the presence of Nijjar and different needed suspects in Canada.

“Important notice from Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from 21 Sept. Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice,” the BLS Indian Visa Application Center in Canada stated. It gave no additional particulars. BLS is the company that processes visa requests for India.

India’s External Affairs Ministry didn’t instantly remark.

On Wednesday, the ministry issued an up to date journey advisory urging its residents touring in Canada and particularly these learning within the North American nation to be cautious due to “growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate-crimes.”

Indians also needs to keep away from going to venues in Canada the place “threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose anti-India agenda,” the ministry stated.

Nijjar was working to prepare an unofficial referendum among the many Sikh diaspora on independence from India on the time of his killing. He had denied India’s accusation that he was a terrorist.

Demands for an unbiased Sikh homeland, referred to as Khalistan, began as an insurgency in India’s Punjab state within the Seventies that was crushed in an Indian authorities crackdown that killed 1000’s.

The motion has since misplaced a lot of its political energy however nonetheless has supporters in Punjab, the place Sikhs kind a majority, in addition to among the many sizable abroad Sikh diaspora.

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