Report: India tells Canada to withdraw dozens of diplomats I DW News

India is demanding the withdrawal of over 40 Canadian diplomats, according to a report from the Financial Times. The report also says Delhi is threatening to revoke diplomatic immunity for any Canadian staffers who fail to leave the country by October 10th. Ties between the two nations have fallen apart over the murder of Sikh separatist leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen the Indian government calls a terrorist.

Earlier this month Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau angered Delhi by publicly accusing Indian government agents for the killing. Nijjar was shot dead by masked gunmen outside a Sikh temple near Vancouver in June. Delhi denied any involvement, dismissing Canada’s allegations as ridiculous.

India had earlier retaliated by issuing a travel warning for what it calls “growing anti-India activities in Canada.” It also stopped issuing visas to Canadian citizens. This latest expulsion of more than 40 diplomats would be a major escalation in the standoff.

Many in Canada’s large Sikh community have voiced support for Trudeau taking a tough stance against India. But with the anger, are also fears over safety. More Sikhs live in Canada than anywhere in the world outside the northern Indian state of Punjab. 770-thousand strong, a small handful of the community supports a movement for an independent state of Khalistan, carved out from India.

The vast majority of the diaspora rejects the movement. The diplomatic fallout has many Canadians Sikhs far more worried about the impact it will have for them in Canada.

And over in South Asia, the same goes. Sikhs in Punjab are likewise worried about the effect this will have on them, as DW’s Adil Bhat reports.


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