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41 Canadian diplomats left India as crisis over Sikh leaders grows

41 Canadian diplomats left India as crisis over Sikh leaders grows

41 Canadian diplomats left India as crisis over Sikh leaders grows

41 Canadian diplomats left India as crisis over Sikh leaders grows

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  • 41 Canadian diplomats left India as crisis over Sikh leaders grows.
  • Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly confirmed this move.
  • India has expressed its willingness to review any evidence provided by Canada.
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Canada announced a significant step in the ongoing dispute with India, withdrawing 41 of its diplomats in response to a situation involving a Sikh separatist killed on Canadian soil.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly confirmed this move, citing India’s threat to revoke diplomatic immunity for most of Canada’s diplomats and their families, which prompted Ottawa to recall its personnel.

The tensions between the two nations escalated when Canada publicly linked Indian intelligence to the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen advocating for a separate Sikh state.

This independent Sikh state, often referred to as Khalistan, was the source of the dispute. Canada has sought India’s cooperation in the murder investigation.

However, New Delhi has consistently denied these allegations, leading to retaliatory actions, such as the suspension of visa services for Canadians and the expulsion of an Indian diplomat by Ottawa.

India has expressed its willingness to review any evidence provided by Canada, highlighting their efforts to share information on organized crime leadership operating from Canada, involving Sikh separatist elements.

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Furthermore, Indian officials mentioned threats to their diplomats, attacks on Indian consulates, and inappropriate comments that constitute interference in Indian politics.

The Sikh separatist movement, aiming for Khalistan, largely lost momentum within India after a forceful response by security agencies in the 1980s.

Nevertheless, Canada hosts a sizable Sikh community of approximately 770,000, constituting about 2% of the country’s population. Among this community, a vocal faction continues advocating for Khalistan’s creation.

Last month, hundreds of Sikh demonstrators in Canada protested outside Indian diplomatic offices, further straining relations.

The protesters burned flags and defaced images of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, amplifying concerns within the Sikh community about their safety both in India and Canada.

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