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India Suspends Canadian Visa Services Amid Escalating Diplomatic Tensions

In a developing international dispute, India has announced the suspension of visa services for Canadian citizens “till further notice.” This decision comes in the wake of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of Indian government involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

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A notice posted by BLS International, an online visa application center, conveyed the suspension of Indian visa services, stating, “Important notice from Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from September 21, 2023, Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice. Please keep checking the BLS website for further updates: BLS India Visa Application Centre.”

The suspension of visa services follows another alarming incident involving Sukha Duneke, a Punjab-origin gangster wanted by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA). Duneke, associated with the Khalistan movement in Canada, was shot dead in Winnipeg, Canada, in what appears to be an inter-gang rivalry.

Duneke had escaped to Canada in 2017 using forged documents and was among the 43 gangsters listed by the NIA, which sought information regarding their illegal properties.

This incident closely mirrors the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, another Khalistani terrorist, in an inter-gang warfare confrontation in Surrey, Canada, back in June.

Diplomatic relations between India and Canada deteriorated significantly on Tuesday following Nijjar’s killing. On the same day, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat as a tit-for-tat response to Canada’s earlier expulsion of a high-ranking Indian diplomat.

In a strongly worded statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) expressed its concerns over the interference of Canadian diplomats in India’s internal affairs and their alleged involvement in anti-India activities. The MEA’s statement read, “The decision reflects the Government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities.”

This diplomatic escalation comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in an emergency statement to Parliament, accused the Government of India of having a role in the fatal shooting of Nijjar.

India has vehemently denied these allegations, referring to them as “absurd and motivated.” The situation remains tense, with both countries facing a challenging path ahead to restore diplomatic relations and address the serious accusations and implications surrounding the recent events.

For further developments on this matter, please continue to monitor official announcements from both Indian and Canadian authorities.

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