NEW DELHI: India suspended today the issuing of visas in Canada, the service provider said, amid a diplomatic row sparked by Ottowa’s accusation New Delhi was involved in the killing of a Sikh separatist near Vancouver.
“Important notice from Indian mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from Sept 21, 2023, Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice,” BLS International posted on their website today.
Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau has demanded India treat with “utmost seriousness” allegations that Indian agents played a role in the June murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
The fallout prompted tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions and a forceful denial from India, which said any suggestion it played a role in Nijjar’s killing was “absurd”.
The suspension of visas comes a day after India’s foreign ministry said it was concerned for the safety of its citizens in Canada because of “politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence”.
“Threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda,” a ministry statement said yesterday.
“Indian nationals are therefore advised to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen such incidents.”
The advisory did not name specific cities or locations for Indians to avoid.