India’s government is warning its citizens in Canada on Wednesday to “exercise utmost caution” as tensions escalate between the two countries following the killing of a Sikh activist on Canadian soil in June.
The statement comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that Canadian intelligence agencies are investigating allegations that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government may have played a role in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijar, who was shot dead outside a Sikh cultural center in Surrey. . , British Columbia, on June 18.
“Given the increasing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those considering travel are advised to exercise extra caution,” India’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Recently, threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community opposed to the anti-India agenda,” the statement continued without elaborating.
CANADA INVESTIGATE OBLIGATIONS INDIA INVOLVED IN MURDER OF CHIK ACTIVIST ON CANADIAN SOIL
“Given the deteriorating security environment in Canada, Indian students are strongly advised to be extra cautious and remain vigilant,” it also said.
Nijjar was a strong supporter of an independent Sikh homeland known as Khalistan. The movement is banned in India as officials consider it a threat to national security. But the movement still has some support in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom, where large Sikh communities live.
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Trudeau told parliament on Monday that he had discussed the issue with Modi at the G-20 Summit last week. He said he told Modi that any involvement would be unacceptable and asked for cooperation in the investigation.
“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau said.
India responded on Monday saying allegations of its “involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated”.
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“We are a polity with a strong commitment to the rule of law,” its Foreign Office added. “Such baseless allegations seek to shift the focus away from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been given sanctuary in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Bradford Betz of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.