Canada updates travel advisory for India as Hardeep Nijjar killing row escalates: ‘Remain vigilant’
India-Canada News: Canada's travel advisory comes after India issued a similar advisory for its nationals living in Canada and halted visa services last week.
Amid the diplomatic row over the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Canada has updated its travel advisory for its citizens in India asking them to “remain vigilant and exercise caution”. “Safety and security – calls for protests; Entry and exit requirements – visa services suspended,” The latest updates state.
According to the Canadian government, the decision has been taken in the context of recent developments in Canada and India and “calls for protests and some negative sentiment towards Canada on social media”.
"In the context of recent developments in Canada and in India, there are calls for protests and some negative sentiment towards Canada on social media. Please remain vigilant and exercise caution," the Canadian government said in an update on Sunday.
The Canadian government's move comes after New Delhi issued a similar advisory for Indian nationals and students living in Canada and halted visa services last week.
India advised all its citizens living in Canada and those contemplating travelling there to exercise "utmost caution" in view of growing anti-India activities and "politically-condoned" hate crimes in the North American country, as the diplomatic row over the killing of a Khalistani separatist leader threatened to snowball into a major confrontation.
In a strongly-worded advisory, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) in New Delhi referred to “threats” targeting Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community that oppose the "anti-India agenda", and asked Indian nationals to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada which have seen such incidents.
The Canadian government. however, rejected the travel advisory issued by India, saying it is one of the safest countries in the world.
Tensions flared between India and Canada following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's explosive allegations of a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar, 45, on his country's soil on June 18 in British Columbia. India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.
The Indian government has already rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated”.
US provided Canada intelligence on Nijjar's killing: NYT
The US provided Canada with intelligence after the killing of Nijjar, but communications intercepted by Ottawa were more definitive and led it to accuse India of orchestrating the plot, The New York Times has reported citing sources.
The report came on Saturday as the top US diplomat in Canada confirmed that there was “shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners” that had prompted Trudeau’s offensive allegation against India in the killing of Nijjar.
India had designated Nijjar, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), as a terrorist in 2020.
The United States has urged India to cooperate with Canada in its investigations.
"In the aftermath of the killing, US intelligence agencies offered their Canadian counterparts context that helped Canada conclude that India had been involved," the NYT reported, quoting unnamed allied officials as saying.
David Cohen, US ambassador to Canada, in an interview with CTV News said that "shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners" had informed Trudeau of the possible involvement of Indian agents in the murder of a Canadian citizen in June.
"I will say this was a matter of shared intelligence information. There was a lot of communication between Canada and the United States about this, and I think that's as far as I'm comfortable going," Cohen told CTV News.
(With inputs from agencies)