Canada has heightened its travel advisory for its citizens traveling to India, urging them to “exercise a high degree of caution,” following a severe breakdown in relations between the two nations.
The tensions stem from accusations by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, alleging India’s involvement in the assassination of a Sikh-Canadian leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, in June.
The assassination, which occurred outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, was executed by two masked gunmen, and no arrests have been made. Nijjar was accused by India of being part of a militant movement advocating for an independent Sikh state in Khalistan, located in India’s Punjab region.
Prime Minister Trudeau claimed there were “credible allegations” implicating New Delhi in the murder and has called for India’s cooperation in the ongoing investigation into Nijjar’s killing. This has led to a diplomatic fallout, with both nations expelling diplomats and India freezing visa services for Canadians.
The Canadian government’s updated travel advisory warns of potential protests and a prevailing negative sentiment towards Canada on social media in India. “Please remain vigilant and exercise caution,” the advisory states.
India has reciprocated with its travel advisory, cautioning its citizens in Canada and potential travelers to be wary of “growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada.”
Sikh activists in Canada are mobilizing, with calls to demonstrate outside Indian embassies to protest the killing, as reported by CTV News. The situation remains tense, with both nations maintaining their respective stances and advisories, emphasizing the need for vigilance and caution for travelers. (AA)