As the controversy over the murder of a Sikh separatist intensifies, New Delhi stated on Thursday that it is looking to reduce the number of Canadian diplomats stationed in India and has halted visa services.
The claims that Indian spies were involved in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June near Vancouver have been met with “utmost seriousness” by Indian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has urged that India do so.
The repercussions led to tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions and a vehement denial from India, which referred to any allegations that it was involved in Nijjar’s murder as “absurd.”
Relations between the most populous nation on Earth and G7 member Canada were already tense, but the claim has brought things to a new low.
“We have informed the Canadian government that there should be parity” in diplomatic presence, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters.
“Their numbers here are very much higher than ours in Canada… I assume there will be a reduction.”
New Delhi also said it had stopped handling visa applications in Canada, blaming “security threats” which they said were “disrupting” the work of their officials.
“For now, the security situation in Canada and because of Canadian government inaction, we have stopped visa services temporarily”, Bagchi said.