Chandigarh- With India warning its residents to “exercise utmost caution” whereas in Canada amid escalation of the diplomatic row between the 2 nations, the households of scholars and everlasting residents, notably the Hindus and Hindu-Canadians residing within the north American nation, are involved about their properly being.
As per official knowledge, Canada is a gorgeous vacation spot for Indians, particularly college students. A serious chunk of them are from Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Delhi.
“We have been much concerned about the well being of both my children who are studying in Canada since the escalation of tension in diplomatic relations between India and Canada after the murder accusation, ” Ramesh Uppal, a resident of Ludhiana, instructed IANS.
He mentioned he mentioned suggested the youngsters to not exit alone, take precautions and preserve a low profile “as they can be considered soft targets”.
On Wednesday, the Indian authorities issued an up to date journey advisory urging its residents travelling in Canada and particularly these finding out there to be cautious due to the “growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate-crimes”.
Indians also needs to keep away from going to venues in Canada the place “threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose anti-India agenda, ” the ministry mentioned.
As per the info from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada issued research permits to 551, 405 worldwide college students from 184 nations, in 2022, a rise of 24 per cent over 2021, in what Canadian immigration described as a “record-breaking year” for visa functions.
Out of the full worldwide college students, 41 per cent (226, 450) are Indian college students, a majority from cash-rich Punjab, up from 169, 460 the earlier 12 months.
As per estimates, there have been 807, 750 research allow holders in Canada final December, over 190, 000 greater than in 2021, in opposition to Canada’s goal of 450, 000 overseas college students by 2022 set out within the nation’s 2014 worldwide training technique.
Upon commencement, a overseas scholar could apply for a piece allow below the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. Under this program, the work allow could also be issued for the size of the research program, as much as a most of three years.
Coming out in help of the Indian diaspora within the wake of Khalistan motion chief in Canada and president of Sikhs for Justice, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who organizes the so-called referendum, asking Hindu-Canadians to depart Canada and return to India, Canadian Member of Parliament Chandra Arya mentioned, “I’ve heard from many Hindu-Canadians who’re fearful after this focused assault.
“I urge Hindu-Canadians to remain calm however vigilant. Please report any incident of Hinduphobia to your native regulation enforcement companies.
“The Khalistan motion chief is attempting to impress the Hindu-Canadians to react and divide the Hindu and Sikh communities in Canada.
“Let me be clear. Vast majority of our Canadian Sikh brothers and sisters do not support Khalistan movement.”
He mentioned most Sikh Canadians could not publicly condemn the Khalistan motion for a number of causes however they “are deeply connected to the Hindu-Canadian community. Canadian Hindus and Sikhs are connected through family relationships and shared social and cultural ties”.
“This direct attack on Hindu-Canadians by the leader of the Canadian Khalistan movement is further escalation of the recent attacks on Hindu temples and public celebration of the assassination of Hindu Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by terrorists, ” mentioned the Trudeau’s get together MP.
In a video message, Chandra mentioned Canada has excessive ethical values and “we fully uphold the rule of law”.
“I can’t understand how glorification of terrorism or a hate crime targeting a religious group is allowed in the name of freedom of speech and expression, ” he mentioned, including “Hindu Canadians keep a low profile and are considered soft targets.”
Responding to a query on worry amongst college students in Canada, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Thursday mentioned they’ve issued an advisory to take precautions. “Our consulate is working there. We have said that if they face any problem, they can contact our consulate.”
As India suspended visa companies in Canada citing “operational reasons”, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal mentioned “this is set to create great hurdles, uncertainty and anxiety for Punjabis”.
Saying he was deeply involved over the indefinite suspension of visa companies for Canadian nationals to India, Badal mentioned “it affects lakhs of Punjabis residing as overseas nationals of Indian origin or as students in that country”.
“This is about to create nice hurdles, uncertainty and nervousness for Punjabis, particularly to members of essentially the most patriotic group of the Sikhs who haven’t solely made unparalleled sacrifices for the liberty of the nation but additionally for preventing off overseas aggression in borders.
“The visa facility hurdles will particularly hit our youth who go to Canada in thousands as students every year and who are now residing there. I have been flooded with calls and messages from Punjabis in Canada and their families and relatives back home, seeking the Akali Dal’s intervention to ensure safe and smooth travel to their homeland.”
Realising the gravity of the state of affairs, the Shiromani Akali Dal urged the 2 nations’ governments to discover a resolution to the matter on the earliest.
Private company, BLS, employed for preliminary scrutiny of visa functions of Canadians, posted a be aware on its web site, saying, “Due to operational reasons, with effect from 21 September 2023, Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice. Please keep checking the BLS website for further updates.”
The diplomatic relationship between India and Canada soured over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June.