Amid a diplomatic dispute with Canada over claims that India’s government contributed to the killing of Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India stopped visa services in Canada on Thursday until further notice.”Important notice from Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from September 21, 2023, Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice. Please keep checking the BLS website for further updates,” said a notice on the ‘India Visa Application Centre Canada’ website. Continue reading to know more.
Visa Application Centre For India Canada, Informs Of Visa Services’ Suspension
On the official website of the “India Visa Application Centre Canada,” there is a notice stating, “Important notice from Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from September 21, 2023, Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice. Please keep checking the BLS website for further updates.”
For governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, BLS International, an organization with its headquarters in India, provides online visa services. According to its website, BLS International collaborates with the High Commission of India to handle the administrative and impartial procedures associated with processing passports and visas.
PM Modi Firmly Denies The Claims
The revelation comes as India and Canada are now embroiled in escalated hostilities following the expulsion of each other’s diplomats in a diplomatic spat over the June murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia. The administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has firmly denied Canada’s claims that Indian agents were involved in the murder.
Security Increased In the Indian Consulate In Vancouver
The Indian Consulate in Vancouver is now more secure. The Indian embassy in Vancouver has, nevertheless, seen an increase in protection. Police in Vancouver, British Columbia, were reportedly “closely monitoring the situation.”
The police have enhanced their security measures at the Indian embassy in downtown Vancouver despite not being mindful of any specific threats against Indian diplomatic staff, according to department spokesman Const. Tania Visintin.
India Warns Canadian Citizens
India asked its citizens in Canada on Wednesday (September 20), particularly students, to take “utmost caution” in light of deteriorating relations between the two nations.
“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 foreign ministry of India made the claim without offering any proof or specifics about any instances. The government continued, “Given the deteriorating security environment in Canada, Indian students in particular are advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant,”
A “crackdown on Khalistani terrorists operating in India” was reportedly intensified, according to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), also on Wednesday. For information that results in the arrest of Harwinder Singh Sandhu and Lakhbir Singh Sandhu “for promoting the terror activities of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) in India,” two of the largest Sikh separatist organizations, the NIA has offered a reward of $12,045 each.
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