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Canada advises its citizens to exercise ‘high degree of caution’ in India

Informs its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Assam, Manipur
A security personnel patrols outside the Canadian High-Commision in New Delhi, India September 19, 2023. Reuters
A security personnel patrols outside the Canadian High-Commision in New Delhi, India September 19, 2023. Reuters

Canada has advised its citizens to follow a ‘high degree of caution’ while travelling to India, as the diplomatic row between the country exacerbates.

“Exercise a high degree of caution in India due to the threat of terrorist attacks throughout the country,” the North American country said in its advisory on Monday.

Such a risk level means that citizens should be very cautious at all times, monitor local media, and follow the instructions of local authorities.

The diplomatic tensions between the two countries increased after Canada’s allegations of the potential involvement of the Indian government in the murder of a Sikh leader.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, was shot dead outside a Sikh temple on June 18 in Surrey, a Vancouver suburb with a large Sikh population. Nijjar supported a Sikh homeland in the form of an independent Khalistani state and was designated by India as a “terrorist” in July 2020.

In tit-for-tat, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat after Ottawa expelled an Indian diplomat over the killing of the Sikh leader.

The country further added that Assam and Manipur – two states in northeastern India – carried the risk of terrorism and insurgency, advising citizens to avoid non-essential travel.

It called for avoiding all travel to the occupied Jammu and Kashmir due to the unpredictable security situation. “There is a threat of terrorism, militancy, civil unrest, and kidnapping.”

Moreover, the country said that people should avoid travelling to areas within 10km of the border with Pakistan in Gujarat, Punjab, and Rajasthan due to the unpredictable security situation and the presence of landmines, and unexploded ordnance.

On September 23, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged India to cooperate with Canada in the investigation of the murder.

Blinken emphasised the importance of accountability and urged India to support a thorough investigation during a press conference at the UN General Assembly.

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Hardeep Singh Nijjar