Hardeep Singh Nijjar Row: India Reportedly Asks Canada To Withdraw 41 Diplomatic Staff
The diplomatic fallout between India and Canada triggered by the killing of Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar is refusing to die down.
In the latest development, India has reportedly asked Canada to withdraw dozens of diplomats from the country.
How many diplomats does Canada have in India?
According to reports, Canada has been given time till October 10 to repatriate roughly 40 diplomats.
Canada has a total of 62 diplomats in India, and MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had earlier said this is larger than what New Delhi has in Ottawa and that there should be a parity in strength and rank equivalence in the mutual presence.
What started the diplomatic war?
The first move by Canadian authorities, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the bombshell announcement in Parliament that there were credible allegations that Indian agents were behind the killing of Nijjar in June, was to expel an Indian diplomat from the country.
Pavan Kumar Rai, the Canadian station chief of India's intelligence agency RAW, was asked to leave the country.
Rai, a 1997-batch Punjab cadre IPS officer, was posted to Ottawa as minister (eco, coordination, community affairs) in the Indian High Commission in 2018.
India rejected the allegations, calling them absurd and unsubstantiated and retaliated by expelling a senior Canadian diplomat.
What India did
India had further suspended visa services for Canadian citizens and also urged its nationals living in the country to be cautious.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said earlier there was a "climate of violence" and an "atmosphere of intimidation" against Indian diplomats in Canada.
How Khalistan strained India-Canada ties?
India has long accused Canadian governments of harbouring Khalistani separatist leaders and gangsters, including many who have been designated as terrorists.
Last month the NIA had released a list of 43 most wanted gangsters, and many of them were based in Canada and had links to Khalistani groups.
Those on the NIA list are Lawrence Bishnoi, Jasdeep Singh, Kala Jatheri, alias Sandeep, Virender Pratap, alias Kala Rana, Joginder Singh, Rajesh Kumar, alias Raju Mota, Raj Kumar, alias Raju Basodi, Anil Chippi, Mohammad Shahbaz, Goldy Brar, Ansari, Sachin Thapan Bishnoi, Anmol Bishnoi, Vikramjit Singh, alias Vikram Brar, Darman Singh, alias Darmanjot Kahlon, Arshdeep Singh Gill, Surender Singh alias Chiku, Dalip Kumar, alias Bhola, Parveen Wadhwa, alias Prince, Yudhveer Singh, Vikas Singh, Lakhbir Singh, alias Landa, Gaurav Patyal, alias Saurav Thakur, Sukhpreet Singh, alias Budda, Amit Dagar, Kaushal Choudhary, Asif Khan, Naveen Dabas, alias Naveen Bali, Chhotu Ram, alias Bhat, Jagseer Singh, alias Jagga, Sunil Balvan, alias Tillu Tajpuria, Bhupinder Singh, alias Bhupi Rana, Sandeep alias Bandar, Sukhdool Singh, Gurpinder Singh, Neerai, alias Pandi, Daler Singh, Dinesh Sharma, Manprit Singh Peeta, Hariom, alias Titu, Harpreet, Lakhveer Singh, Irfan alias Chhenu Pehalwan and Sunny Dagar.
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