New Delhi on Wednesday urged its citizens in Canada and those planning to travel there to exercise utmost caution in view of “growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes”.
“Recently, threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda,” an advisory by the Ministry of External Affairs said. “Indian nationals are therefore advised to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen such incidents.”
The foreign ministry advised Indian students in Canada in particular to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant. It also directed Indian citizens in Canada, including students, to register with the High Commission of India in Ottawa or Consulates General in Toronto and Vancouver.
The ministry said this would enable Indian authorities to connect with citizens in Canada “in the event of any emergency or untoward incident”.
India’s High Commission in Canada will continue to remain in touch with Canadian authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of Indian nationals, the external affairs ministry said..
The development comes amid rising tensions between Canada and India over Ottawa’s accusations that New Delhi may have been involved in the assassination of a 45-year-old Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June in Surrey, outside Vancouver.
India has rejected the charges as “absurd and motivated”. It also expelled a Canadian diplomat, a tit-for-tat move after Canada expelled an official of the Indian foreign intelligence service.
While Canada has not yet made public any evidence of India’s involvement in Nijjar’s death, its foreign ministry said that Trudeau took up the matter with United States President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Nijjar was the head of the Khalistan Tiger Force, which is designated a terrorist outfit in India. He was among India’s most wanted persons and one of three Khalistan supporters who have died overseas in unusual circumstances in recent months.