With a “sharp surge” in hate crimes, sectarian violence, and anti-Indian activities, India took the extraordinary step of issuing an advice on Friday, urging its citizens living in Canada to “exercise necessary caution and remain watchful.”
The external affairs ministry’s advice came amid a diplomatic spat between India and Canada over the recently held “pro-Khalistan” groups’ pretended vote on establishing an independent country for Sikhs. In recent years, the pro-Khalistan efforts of some Canadians have strained bilateral relations.
The warning for Indian nationals and students in Canada noted that “there has been a substantial spike in incidences of hate crimes, sectarian violence, and anti-India actions in Canada.”
“Indian nationals and students from India in Canada and those travelling to Canada for travel or education are encouraged to exercise necessary caution and remain watchful,” it stated. “In view of the increased incidents of crimes as described above.”
The Indian high commission and consulates in Canada have brought up these events with the Canadian government and requested that they look into the “crimes and take suitable action.” “The perpetrators of these acts have not yet been brought to justice in Canada,” the statement continued.
According to the warning, Indian nationals and students studying in Canada may register with the high commission in Ottawa, the consulates in Toronto and Vancouver, or the MADAD portal at madad.gov.in, via the websites of those institutions. The Indian missions will be able to “better communicate with Indian citizens in Canada in the event of any demand or emergency” thanks to this registration.
Arindam Bagchi, a spokesman for the ministry of external affairs, had called the pro-Khalistan referendum on Thursday a “farcical exercise…held by extreme and radical elements.” He claimed that diplomatic channels had been used to bring up the issue with the Canadian government.
Even though the Canadian government has stated that it respects India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and that it won’t recognise the fictitious referendum, this hasn’t been enough to allay Indian worries.
The fact that politically driven exercises by extreme forces are permitted to take place in a friendly nation like Canada, according to Bagchi, is “very disagreeable” to India. You’re all aware that there has been violence in the past in this situation. According to him, the Indian government will keep pressing the Canadian government on this issue.
The Indian side feels that the Justin Trudeau administration, which has a number of ministers with Indian ancestry, hasn’t gone far enough to allay Delhi’s worries regarding the actions of pro-Khalistan elements in Canada.