India has stopped issuing visas to Canadians following tensions over the killing in the western Canadian province of British Columbia of a Canadian citizen who was a Sikh separatist.
Visas are not being issued due to security concerns, India’s Foreign Ministry said in New Delhi at a news conference on Thursday.
“Security threats faced by our embassy and consulates in Canada have affected normal functioning.
“Accordingly, our embassy and consulates are temporarily unable to issue visas,’’ the ministry said.
Canada also plans to temporarily reduce its embassy staff in India, but said its embassy and consulates will remain open.
The Canadian high commission in India said it will continue to monitor “the safety and security of its missions and personnel as it maintains a strict security protocol to respond to any events.’’
A high commission is the main representative office of a Commonwealth country in another Commonwealth country and is the equivalent of an embassy.
The authority said some diplomats had received threats “on various social media platforms’’ and it is therefore reviewing its staffing in India.
A spokesman for the Canadian embassy could not be reached immediately by dpa.
Relations between the two countries are currently at a low point after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the Indian government of the targeted killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
He is a well-known advocate of an independent state for people of the Sikh religious community on India’s territory.
Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, was shot dead in June.