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In a further escalation of the diplomatic standoff between the two countries, Delhi issued a strongly-worded advisory to Indian nationals in Canada on Wednesday, warning against “anti-India activities” and “politically-condoned hate crimes.”

This action came after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested a “potential link” between “agents of the Government of India” and the killing of Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada earlier this year. As a result of this accusation, Canada expelled a senior Indian diplomat, prompting India to retaliate by expelling a senior Canadian diplomat the following day.

In the advisory issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday, Indian nationals in Canada were urged to exercise caution due to the increasing anti-India activities, hate crimes, and criminal violence in the country. The advisory specifically mentioned threats against Indian diplomats and members of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda, advising them to avoid certain regions and venues where incidents have occurred.

Indian students, in particular, were advised to remain vigilant and exercise extreme caution due to the deteriorating security environment in Canada. The Indian High Commission and Consulates General in Canada will continue to work with Canadian authorities to ensure the safety of the Indian community in the country.

Indian nationals and students in Canada were also encouraged to register with the High Commission of India in Ottawa or the Consulates General of India in Toronto and Vancouver to facilitate communication in case of emergencies. The advisory was seen as a response to the perceived inaction by Canada against pro-Khalistan supporters, which India believes has emboldened these groups to target Indian diplomats and incite violence.

While such travel advisories may impact official visits, private visits on tourist, business, and student visas can still proceed. However, the advisory serves as a diplomatic measure to reduce travel and signal to the business community to limit interactions.

The incident involving the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the head of the Khalistan Tiger Force, has further strained relations between India and Canada. Trudeau’s remarks about a potential link between the Indian government and Nijjar’s killing were dismissed by the MEA as “absurd and motivated.”

Ties between the two countries have been tense, with India previously expressing concern about pro-Khalistan groups inciting violence against Indian diplomats through posters. These incidents have highlighted the need for caution and vigilance among the Indian community in Canada.

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