AceBreakingNews – India’s visa processing centre in Canada suspended services on Thursday as a rift widened between the countries after Canada’s leader said India may have been involved in the killing of a Canadian citizen.
Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Sept.22: 2023: AP News Agency & Reuters News Agency: TELEGRAM Ace Daily News Link https://t.me/+PuI36tlDsM7GpOJe
The announcement came hours after Canada’s high commission in India said it would “temporarily adjust staff presence” in the country after some diplomats received threats on social media platforms.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told parliament on Monday that there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the assassination of Sikh independence activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who had been wanted by India for years and was gunned down in June outside the temple he led.
Canada also expelled an Indian diplomat, and India followed by expelling a Canadian diplomat on Tuesday. It called the allegations being investigated in Canada absurd and an attempt to shift attention from the presence of Mr Nijjar and other wanted suspects in Canada.
Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi confirmed India had suspended visa services for Canadian citizens from Thursday.
“The security situation because of Canadian government’s inaction has resulted in disruptions and we have suspended visa applications,” Mr Bagchi, told reporters in New Delhi, adding that all categories of visas, including e-visas are suspended.
BLS International, an Indian company offering visa facilities, said the notice from the Indian mission in Canada cited “operational reasons” for suspension of visa services “till further notice”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government categorically denied any links to the alleged murder
With both nations expelling a diplomat each, analysts said relations between the two countries have touched the lowest point.
“In light of the current environment where tensions have heightened, we are taking action to ensure the safety of our diplomats,” the Canadian high commission said in a statement.
“With some diplomats having received threats on various social media platforms, Global Affairs Canada is assessing its staff complement in India,” it said, referring to the department which manages Ottawa’s diplomatic and consular relations.
“As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily adjust staff presence in India,” it said, without elaborating on what it meant by that adjustment.
“In view of growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there, and those contemplating travel, are urged to exercise utmost caution,” India’s foreign ministry said, without providing evidence or details of specific incidents.
Just hours after India’s travel advisory, Canada’s Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc told reporters that Canada is a safe country.
Mr Nijjar was working to organise an unofficial referendum among the Sikh diaspora on independence from India at the time of his killing. He had denied India’s accusation that he was a terrorist.
Demands for an independent Sikh homeland, known as Khalistan, started as an insurgency in India’s Punjab state in the 1970s that was crushed in an Indian government crackdown that killed thousands.
The movement has since lost much of its political power but still has supporters in Punjab, where Sikhs form a majority, as well as among the sizeable overseas Sikh diaspora.
Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external sites or from any reports, posts or links thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog retweet and comment thank you