Ties between 2 countries have deteriorated since PM accused India of involvement in death of Canadian
India has told Canada that it must repatriate 41 diplomats by Oct. 10, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Ties between India and Canada have deteriorated in recent weeks after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced there were
credible allegations of Indian involvement in the assassination of Sikh independence activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Nijjar, 45, had been wanted by India for years and was gunned down outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, B.C., on June 18.
India has dismissed the allegation as absurd. (new window)
The Financial Times, citing people familiar with the Indian demand, said India had threatened to revoke the diplomatic immunity of those diplomats told to leave who remained after Oct. 10.
India wants 'parity' in number, rank
Canada has 62 diplomats in India, and India had said that the total should be reduced by 41, the newspaper said.
Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for India's Ministry of External Affairs, said late last month that New Delhi had
informed the Canadian government that there should be parity in strength and rank equivalence in our mutual diplomatic presence.
Their numbers here are very much higher than ours in Canada, said Bagchi.
WATCH l India's RAW intelligence unit operates with little transparency:
What’s the likelihood India’s spy agency killed someone in Canada?
The government has made allegations that India’s government and its intelligence agency were involved in the killing of a citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, on Canadian soil, but some don’t think it was possible. CBC’s Adrienne Arsenault breaks down whether it’s capable of what it is being accused of and the implications if it’s true.
The Indian and Canadian foreign ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The High Commission of Canada in New Delhi told CBC News on Tuesday it had no comment.
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said earlier there was a
climate of violence and an
atmosphere of intimidation against Indian diplomats in Canada, where the presence of Sikh separatist groups has frustrated New Delhi.
Days after Trudeau's bombshell announcement, India warned its citizens (new window) to exercise caution when travelling to Canada, citing concerns about
politically-condoned hate crimes and violence.
Soon after, it stopped processing visitor visas (new window) in Canada.
At the same time, the High Commission of Canada said it was temporarily adjusting its staff presence at its commission and consulate locations in India, due to
some diplomats having received threats on various social media platforms.