TRENTON, Canada – Canada warned travellers on Monday to “exercise a high degree of caution” if going to India due to deteriorating relations between the two countries over the assassination of a Sikh-Canadian leader.
“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,” Anadolu Agency cited an update to the Canadian government’s travel advisory. “Please remain vigilant and exercise caution.”
Tensions rose between the two countries after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged publicly last week that India was involved in the assassination of a Sikh-Canadian leader outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia in June.
India insisted that Hardeep Singh Nijjar was a terrorist who was part of a militant movement to carve out an independent Sikh state in Khalistan in India’s Punjab region.
Trudeau said there were “credible allegations” that New Delhi was implicated in the murder, which was committed by two masked gunmen. No arrests have been made.
After Trudeau’s accusation, which also called for India to cooperate in an investigation into Nijjar’s killing, Canada expelled a top Indian diplomat.
The Indian government reacted strongly, calling the allegations “absurd,” and in a tit-for-tat move expelled a Canadian representative.
In addition, New Delhi froze visa services for Canadians. The government issued a travel advisory of its own, telling Indian citizens that “in view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution.”
In Canada, Sikh activists are urging Sikh-Canadians to demonstrate outside Indian embassies to protest the killing, CTV News reported.- Bernama