New Delhi: Tension esclated between India and Canada with a series of tit-for-tac dynamics that pivots around the death of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar. In a recent move, India on Thursday suspended visa services for Canadian nationals citing “operational reasons.”
- The order was conveyed by BLS, a agency, which has been hired for initial scrutiny of visa applications of Canadians. The agency on its website notified: “Due to operational reasons, with effect from 21 September 2023, Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice. Please keep checking the BLS website for further updates.”
- This came even as Canada decided “to temporarily adjust staff presence in India” out of an “abundance of caution.” The foreign authorities mentioned that they were concerned about safety of their diplomats stationed in India following threats on social media. The Canadian authorities demaned Indian counterparts to beef up security outside its embassies, consulates, and high commissions in Mumbai, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, and New Delhi.
- Meanwhile, India on Wednesday asked Indians living in Canada to stay alert due to growing anti-India activities and “politically-condoned hate crimes”. The Indian government particularly advised Indian students to extremely stay remain vigilant.
- It is worth noting that the attacks on Indian embassies, nationals and diplomats were reported from several parts of Canada by anti-India and Khalistani groups and sympathisers. At the G20 summit in Delhi, the prime ministers of both sides had a ‘not so pleasant’ discussion.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday announced that the Canadian agencies have found links between agents of India and Canadian national Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s death.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar was a wanted terrorist in India who was gunned down last year outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey, British Columbia. Trudeau’s allegations against India caused stir and followed the harshest steps by the two, which can cause serious damage to the relatioship between the two.