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India’s Shocking Accusations
India has warned its citizens visiting Canada on Wednesday to use caution, citing increased tensions over Ottawa’s charges and a growing divide between the two countries that may impact India. in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in suburban Vancouver.
The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi issued an updated travel advisory, urging its citizens especially those studying in North American countries to remain vigilant due to “rising anti-India activities and politically motivated hate crimes.”
The ministry stated that Indians should also avoid visiting places in Canada where “dangers have particularly targeted sections of Indian diplomats and Indian communities who oppose anti-India agendas.”
Ottawa and New Delhi, two major strategic partners in security and trade, have been embroiled in a diplomatic spat since Bharath was linked to the killing of a Sikh freedom supporter on its soil in June.
Canada has so far provided no evidence of Indian involvement in the murder of 45-year-old Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar outside Vancouver.
Despite his denials, Bharath has long asserted that Nijjar, a Canadian citizen born in Bharath, is connected to terrorism. Najjar was involved in organizing an informal Sikh referendum for self-determination in Bharath during his time of death.
Following Trudeau’s announcement, Canada expelled an Bharath diplomat in Ottawa. New Delhi dismissed Trudeau’s allegations as “baseless and motivated” and later expelled a Canadian diplomat.
Bharath authorities had labeled Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020 and accused him of supporting demands for a Sikh homeland known as Khalistan, which started as a rebellion in the Bharath state of Punjab in the 1970s and 1980s and was crushed by the Indian government’s action.
Since then, the movement has lost most of its political power, but in Punjab, where Sikhs are a majority, and among the large numbers of Sikh expatriates abroad, it still has supporters.
Trudeau’s accusations, according to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, were made in an effort to “distract from Khalistani terrorists and extremists harbored in Canada, who pose a threat to Bharath’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The ministry regularly issues travel advisories. Last September, it advised Bharath citizens to exercise caution while traveling to Canada due to a “rapid increase in hate crimes, sectarian violence, and anti-Bharath activities” there.
The modern Sikh separatist movement continued until the 1940s but eventually transformed into a rebellion in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1984, then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ordered a military operation to capture armed separatists taking refuge in the holiest Sikh temple.
Hundreds were killed in the attack, and shortly afterward, two Sikh bodyguards assassinated her. As a result, ferocious anti-Sikh riots killed Sikhs in their homes and spread throughout Bharath.
While the rebellion was largely suppressed long ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has repeatedly warned of attempts by Sikh separatists to regroup. The Modi administration has urged nations to prosecute terrorists from the Khalistan region, including Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
India, too, has accused Canada of providing a safe haven for Sikh separatists, including Nijjar, for years.
The diplomatic standoff has escalated tensions – this month, during a Group of 20 meeting in New Delhi, Trudeau had a heated exchange with Modi, and shortly thereafter, Canada canceled a planned trade mission to Bharath.
Bharath is now one of the top countries for students to study abroad. In 2022, the country had approximately 300,000 Indian students pursuing higher education.”