In the midst of the intensifying diplomatic dispute between India and Canada regarding the slaying of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, an extremist associated with the Khalistani movement, a small gathering of pro-Khalistan supporters assembled for a demonstration outside the Indian high commission in Ottawa on Monday.
According to reports, approximately 100 pro-Khalistani supporters displayed yellow flags with the word 'Khalistan' in front of the Indian consulate. Some of these supporters also set fire to an Indian flag and voiced their protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as reported by the news agency Reuters. It's worth noting that India had officially labeled Nijjar as a terrorist back in 2020.
One of the demonstrators affiliated with the Khalistani organization known as Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) asserted that India had, as per Reuters' report, "jeopardized Canada's sovereignty."
This protest occurred one week after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made startling allegations linking India to Nijjar's assassination. Nijjar was fatally shot in June near a gurdwara in British Columbia, sparking a significant diplomatic dispute.
India has dismissed Canada's allegations, deeming them "ridiculous and motivated." Trudeau's actions triggered a reciprocal response, with both countries expelling diplomats.
As of September 21, India halted its visa services for Canadian citizens, citing concerns about the safety of its consulate staff in Canada. Furthermore, the suspension applies to Canadian citizens residing in other countries, as they are also unable to apply for an Indian visa during this period.
Previously, India issued a cautionary advisory to its citizens residing in Canada, urging them to exercise "utmost caution" in light of the increasing incidents of anti-India activities and hate crimes. This advisory served as a reflection of the deteriorating bilateral relations between the two nations.