Canada has refused an Indian travel advisory and cautioned travellers visiting the North-America. The safety minister of Canada, Dominic LeBlanc,announced on Wednesday that Canada was a safe country. Canada has changed their travel policies. The new information was updated this week, warning travellers to be cautious when travelling to India. The travellers are requested to be aware of terrorist attacks in India. The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, said that officials were inquiring about a potential link between Indian Government agents and the death of the Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Indian foreign ministry has urged all Indian nationals to avoid travelling to places prone to violence and such attacks. Trudeau’s announcement before Canada’s House of Commons has ignited tensions between New Delhi and Ottawa.
The death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar
Hardeep Singh Nijjar was attacked by anonymous killers on 9th June, around 8:30 pm local standard time. He was leaving the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurudwara in Surrey, Vancouver. Najjar was the most wanted in India. He worked with the Sikhs and protested for the leader, Gurpatwant Singh Pannu. The Indian agencies had declared Nijjar as a terrorist. He had denied these allegations multiple times. Before Nijjar, other Sikhs were killed in Lahore and Birmingham.
Nijjar had moved to Canada in 1997. He became the President of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurudwara in Surrey. In 2018, the NIA registered an FIR against Nijjar, accusing him of planning terrorist attacks in India. He was involved in financing arms and brainwashing the youth to join terrorism. Najjar was allegedly associated with the death of Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja in 2016. He became the spotlight in Canada after the murder of Ripudaman Singh Malik. He and Nijjar looked after printing the Sikh holy book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib. A lawsuit was filed against Nijjar by Malik’s son. He accused Nijjar of getting back a printing press given to him by his Father.
In an interview with journalist Gurpreet Singh said that Nijjar knew his death was coming. He asked the Sikh community to be strong and fight for their rights. He held a prayer meeting for Panjwar and started the langar sewa for all international students. Special prayers for the children killed in Kamloops were organised by him.In India, Sikhs are a religious minority that makes up about 2% of the Indian Population. In the 1970s, the Sikhs launched a separatist movement in India.This incident has created a feud in the diplomatic relations between India and Canada. Trudeau said that the involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen is unacceptable.
Response of the Indian Government
The Ministry of External Affairs rejected the claims made by Canada and called them baseless and absurd. They accused Canada of housing Khalistani terrorists. Canada recently suspended their alliance and free trade agreement with India.
The Concerns of Indian Families living in Canada
The feud between India and Canada has raised the concerns of Indian Students who have enrolled in various institutions in Canada, Indians who have work permits and those striving to secure permanent residency in Canada.