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India suspends visa companies in Canada as diplomatic disaster escalates

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India suspends visa companies in Canada as diplomatic disaster escalates

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India vacationer visa is seen in a passport in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, on March 17, 2022.

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Photographs

India suspended visa functions in Canada on Thursday, escalating the festering diplomatic disaster between the 2 nations.

The current feud was sparked by the Canadian authorities’s announcement of “credible allegations” the Indian authorities orchestrated the extra-judicial slaying of a Sikh separatist in Canada.

The transfer will curtail India journey for Canada-based candidates and follows a journey advisory urging Indian nationals to “train utmost warning” whereas touring in Canada and a reciprocal expulsion of senior diplomats. New Delhi had slammed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claims as “baseless” and “absurd” and accused Ottawa of being sympathetic to anti-India causes.

“Essential discover from India Mission. On account of operational causes, with impact from 21 September 2023, Indian visa companies have been suspended until additional discover,” a ticker announcement on the web site of BLS Worldwide, a third-party service supplier performing on behalf of the Indian authorities in Canada, stated Thursday.

India’s Ministry of Exterior Affairs and Canada’s Excessive Fee in India weren’t instantly obtainable to answer CNBC requests for remark.

Canada’s closest allies — Australia, United Kingdom and america — have articulated their concern concerning the deepening bilateral disaster. If allegations are true, this may occasionally nicely derail the U.S. courtship of India as a companion in a broader Indo-Pacific technique aimed toward countering China.

Because it stands, Canada halted commerce talks with India forward of the current Group of 20 nations leaders’ summit in Delhi, the place Trudeau stated he raised the problem along with his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar was reportedly serving to to prepare an unofficial world referendum among the many Sikh diaspora when he was killed on June 18 by two masked gunmen within the car parking zone of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, the Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, the place he was president.

New Delhi had labeled him a terrorist in 2020, accusing him of plotting a number of focused murders by way of the years, prices that Nijjar had denied. He had settled in suburban Vancouver and ran a plumbing enterprise after apparently first migrating from India within the Nineties and gaining citizenship in March 2015.

Whereas Canada views peaceable Sikh activism as a part of free expression, India views Canada’s continued tolerance as an endorsement of Sikh separatism that it regards as an infringement on its home affairs.

Beneath the management of the Congress Celebration, India ultimately crushed the bloody insurgency that shook the nation within the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties when the minority Sikhs agitated for an impartial Sikh homeland within the northern Indian state of Punjab, claiming 1000’s of lives within the course of. Sikh bodyguards had been convicted of the 1984 assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

—CNBC’s Naman Tandon contributed to this text.

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