India temporarily suspends visa services for Canadians

New Delhi:┬áIndia on Thursday “suspended till further notice” its visa services in Canada. The move comes amid the escalating diplomatic row that erupted following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of a Khalistani separatist in June.

Sources said India has suspended visa services for Canadians in the wake of the ongoing row.

A private agency hired for initial scrutiny of visa applications of Canadians put out a note on its website that Indian visa services have been “suspended till further notice”.

The ties between India and Canada came under severe strain following Trudeau’s allegations of a “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.

India on Tuesday rejected the allegations as “absurd” and “motivated” and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official over the case.

In reflection of hardening of its position, India on Wednesday advised all its nationals living in Canada and those contemplating travelling there to exercise “utmost caution” in view of growing anti-India activities and “politically-condoned” hate crimes as well as “criminal violence” in that country.

The India-Canada ties were reeling under some strain for the last few months in view of increasing activities of the pro-Khalistani elements in the North American country. India believes the Trudeau government is not addressing its genuine concerns.