India warns its citizens in Canada of ‘increase in hate crimes’ | Government News

The notice issued by New Delhi cited ‘incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities’ in Canada.

The Indian government has advised its citizens in Canada to exercise caution citing the “strong increase in hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities” in the North American country.

In a statement issued Friday, India’s foreign ministry asked Indians in Canada to “remain vigilant”.

“Due to the increasing crime rate… Indian citizens and students from India in Canada and those coming to Canada for tourism/education are advised to exercise caution,” it said.

The adviser said New Delhi has asked Canadian authorities to investigate the crime and take appropriate action. “The perpetrators of these crimes have not been brought to justice in Canada to date,” it said.

New Delhi urges its citizens – workers and students – in Canada to register with the Indian representation in Ottawa or the consulates in Toronto and Vancouver.

Indian media reports on Friday said the advice followed reports of a “referendum” being held by a faction among Sikhs in Canada, demanding a the separate country of Khalistan in the state of Punjab, northern India.

The secessionist movement peaked in the 1980s.

In June 1984, New Delhi sent troops to the Golden Temple – the community’s holiest site in the Punjab city of Amritsar – in a military campaign against pro-Khalistan chiefs. Operation Blue Star, like the military assault, killed hundreds of people.

In October of that year, former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards, an event that led to nationwide anti-Sikh riots in which thousands died.

Today, Sikhs form a large group of 1.6 million Indian communities in Canada – more than 3% of its population. According to the Hindustan Times, Canada has 17 MPs and three cabinet ministers of Indian origin, including defense minister Anita Anand.

India has repeatedly raised the issue of Canada allowing Khalistani separatist groups to operate on its soil.

New Delhi believes that Justin Trudeau’s government has not done enough to address concerns about the activities of pro-Khalistan elements in Canada, the Hindustan Times reported.

An Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Thursday called the Canadian referendum an “unreasonable exercise organized by extremists and radicals”, according to a report by NDTV network.

Bagchi said that such drills being allowed in a friendly country were “extremely objectionable”.

In response, the Canadian government said it respects India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will not recognize the so-called referendum, as reported by Indian media.

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