India suspends visa services for Canadians

by IANS |



New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS) India has suspended visa services for Canadians "till further notice" amid a massive international row over Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's claim that his government has intelligence linking New Delhi in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.


A notice by BLS International - an online visa application centre said, "Important notice from Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from 21 September 2023, Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice. Please keep checking the BLS website for further updates:
BLS India Visa Application Centre."


The update on Thursday came after a Punjab-origin NIA-wanted gangster Sukha Duneke was also shot dead in Canada's Winnipeg in an inter-gang rivalry.


Sukhdool Singh, alias Duneke, was part of Khalistan movement in Canada. Duneke, an associate of the Devinder Bambiha Gang in Punjab, escaped to Canada in 2017 on forged documents.


On Wednesday, his name figured among the list of 43 gangsters released by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which sought information about his illegal properties.


His murder on Wednesday night is similar to the killing of terrorist Nijjar in inter-gang warfare in Surrey in June.


On Tuesday, diplomatic relations between India and Canada nosedived over the killing of Nijjar. The same day India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat based here in a tit for tat move giving a similar reply to Canada.


The High Commissioner of Canada to India (Cameron Mackay) received summons on Tuesday during which New Delhi conveyed its decision to expel a senior Canadian diplomat currently stationed in the country.


The concerned diplomat has been officially instructed to depart from India within the next five days, a statement issued by the MEA said.


"The decision reflects the Government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities," the statement said.


The decision came after Canada had earlier expelled a high ranking Indian diplomat.


These developments have occurred after Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday in an emergency statement in Parliament accused the Government of India of involvement in the fatal shooting of Nijjar.


India has rejected claims by the Canadian government that it had an involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.


India has dubbed the charges as "absurd and motivated".



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