Monday, April 15, 2024

Exercise ‘utmost caution’

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India advises its citizens in Canada

PNS|New Delhi

India on Wednesday advised all its nationals living in Canada and those contemplating travelling there to exercise “utmost caution” in view of growing anti-India activities and “politically-condoned” hate crimes as well as “criminal violence” in that country.

This was stated in an advisory issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) that came amid the deteriorating diplomatic ties between the two nations following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.

India on Tuesday rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated” and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official over the case.

In the advisory, the MEA asked the Indian students in Canada to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant.

“In view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution,” the MEA said in the advisory.

“Recently, threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda. Indian nationals are, therefore, advised to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen such incidents,” it said.

The India-Canada ties were reeling under some strain for the last few months in view of increasing activities of the pro-Khalistani elements in the North American country. India believes the Trudeau government is not addressing its genuine concerns.

The MEA said the Indian high commission and the Consulates General in Canada will continue to be in contact with the Canadian authorities to ensure the safety and well being of the Indian community in Canada.

“Given the deteriorating security environment in Canada, Indian students in particular are advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant,” it said.

It said the Indian nationals and students from India in Canada must also register with the High Commission of India in Ottawa or Consulates General of India in Toronto and Vancouver through their respective websites or on http://madad.gov.in.

“Registration would enable the High Commission and the Consulates General to better connect with Indian citizens in Canada in the event of any emergency or untoward incident,” the MEA said.

In an explosive statement in the House of Commons on Monday, Trudeau said that Canada was looking at “credible allegations potentially linking” Indian agents to the killing of Nijjar, a Canadian Khalistani terrorist.

He was shot dead by two gunmen in Surrey on June 18.

In a strongly-worded statement, the MEA on Tuesday trashed Trudeau’s comments asserting that “such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” PTI MPB

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