India suspends visa services in Canada and rift widens over killing of Canadian citizen

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s visa processing middle in Canada suspended companies Thursday as a rift widened between the nations after Canada’s chief stated India could have been concerned within the killing of a Canadian citizen.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructed 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.

“Necessary discover from Indian Mission: Resulting from operational causes, with impact from 21 Sept. Indian visa companies have been suspended until additional discover,” the BLS Indian Visa Utility Heart in Canada stated. It gave no additional particulars. BLS is the company that processes visa requests for India.

India’s Exterior 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 finding out within the North American nation to be cautious due to “rising anti-India actions and politically condoned hate-crimes.”

Indians must also keep away from going to venues in Canada the place “threats have significantly focused Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian neighborhood 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.

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

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