India Suspends Visas for Canadian Citizens

  • Publish date: Thursday، 21 September 2023 Last update: Saturday، 23 September 2023
India Suspends Visas for Canadian Citizens

India has suspended visa applications for Canadian citizens until further notice. This is the latest move in an escalating diplomatic row between the two countries, which began after Canada accused India of being involved in the murder of a Sikh separatist.

Although the Indian government has not officially announced the suspension of visas for Canadian citizens, the BLS International Services, a company that processes Indian visa applications in Canada, has cited "operational reasons" for the move. This comes after Canada and India expelled each other's diplomats and India advised its citizens living in Canada to exercise "utmost caution."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accused the Indian government of involvement in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The Indian government has denied the allegations, calling them "absurd and motivated."

Nijjar was the leader of the Khalistan Tiger Force, one of several Sikh separatist groups that are fighting for the creation of a homeland for Sikhs in India's Punjab region.

The allegations of Indian involvement in Nijjar's killing have further created tensions in the relations between Canada and India. The two countries have already expelled each other's diplomats over the issue.

India Suspends Visas for Canadian Citizens

The Indian government designated Hardeep Singh Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020. In June 2023, Nijjar was shot dead in his vehicle outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

Canada has a large Indian diaspora, with 1.4 million people of Indian origin and about 770,000 Sikhs, more than in any other country outside of India's Punjab region. India accuses Canada of harboring secessionist groups and leaders who fund and support the Khalistan independence movement in Punjab. Canada has not provided any evidence to support India's claim that the Indian government was involved in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

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