As India suspends visa services for Canadians, BLS International, which runs the visa application centres in Canada, has issued its first statement regarding the suspension. "Due to operation reasons, with immediate effect i.e. 21 September 2023, Indian visa services in Canada have been suspended till further notice," read the statement released by BLS International on Thursday.
According to reports, India has also ordered to minimise the strength of diplomatic staff in Ottawa in order to secure them from threats posed by Khalistani terror groups and social media platforms.
Development comes an hour after Sukhdool Singh's killing
The latest development came nearly an hour after Sukhdool Singh alias Sukha Duneke, a Khalistani terrorist and a wanted gangster, who escaped to Canada from Punjab's Moga district, was killed in a shootout. As per reports, he was associated with the Devinder Bambiha gang and used to provide aid, and funds in order to strengthen anti-India activities in New Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana and Ottawa.
Notably, the killing of the Khalistani supporter came at a time when the relations between both-- India and Canada-- reached the lowest point after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau linked the name of Indian agents with the killing of Nijjar in June.
India, in staunch words, rejected the claims and tagged it a "baseless" allegation. Subsequently, both countries expelled senior diplomats and asked them to leave the place as soon as possible.
India issued a travel advisory for Canada
Earlier on Wednesday, India issued a travel advisory, wherein it cautioned Indian nations and students to refrain from visiting Ottawa rising amid hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada. Sharing the advisory on the social media platform, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi alerted Indian citizens and students to refrain from travelling to Ottawa amid the fact that anti-India activities, hate crimes and criminal violence are on the zenith.
The official emphasised how Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the vested interests, have suffered serious threats in Canada.
'Indo-Hindu leave Canada, go to India', warns Khalistani terrorist
Earlier on Wednesday, a pro-Khalistan organisation Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), in a video message, warned Hindus living in Canada and asked them to leave the country as soon as possible. "Indo-Hindu leave Canada; go to India. You not only support India, but you are also supporting the suppression of speech and expression of pro-Khalistan Sikhs," SFJ’s legal counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannu said in a video that went viral on social media platforms.
Further, he appealed to all the Sikhs to accumulate in Surrey, Vancouver on October 29 to vote: "Whether Indian High Commissioner Verma is responsible for the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar?"
Notably, Pannu, a top member of Sikhs for Justice, an outlawed organisation in India, was designated as a wanted terrorist in 2020.