Amid escalating tensions between India and Canada, New Delhi has made a formal request to Ottawa. India has told Canada to expel 41 diplomats by October 10, according to reports from the Financial Times.
The strained relations between the two nations started from Canadian suspicions that Indian government agents played a role in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh leader and Canadian citizen, back in June. India has denied these allegations, dismissing them as absurd.
The situation also has attention from the Biden administration, which has urged the Indian government to cooperate with Canada’s investigation into the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
According to The Financial Times report, New Delhi has warned that it might take the diplomatic immunity of those diplomats who are asked to leave if they remain beyond the specified deadline.
Canada currently has 62 diplomats stationed in India, and India has called for a reduction of 41 diplomats, according to the newspaper.
Both the Indian and Canadian foreign ministries have not provided immediate responses on this matter.
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar previously stated that there is a “climate of violence” and an “atmosphere of intimidation” against Indian diplomats in Canada. This is partly due to the presence of Sikh separatist groups that have been a source of frustration for New Delhi.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of Indian involvement in the killing have started the diplomatic fire. In response to the situation, India has suspended its visa services in Canada.
Furthermore, there have been global protests by the Sikh community since Justin Trudeau’s claims. They have been demanding the expulsion of Indian diplomats from London and Ottawa.
In London, a large gathering of Sikhs rallied at the Indian High Commission to express support for Canada and to protest against what they perceive as India’s interference in other countries against pro-Khalistan activism. Hardeep Singh Nijjar posters were carried by the protesters.
The situation has led to disruptions at Indian diplomatic missions in other countries, as Sikh activists protest the presence of Indian agents they claim are spies on Sikhs and spreading false information.
As a result of Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder and claims of Indian participation in the case, tensions between the two countries have increased, and India has requested that Canada remove a significant number of its diplomats. Additionally, these events have caused unrest and protests around the world.