In recent times, there has been a growing concern regarding the safety and security of Indian nationals and students in Canada. The tension escalated following the unfortunate killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a pro-Khalistan leader, and allegations made by the Indian government about the safety of its citizens in Canada. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the travel advisory issued by India, the diplomatic row it has caused, and offer specific tips for Indian citizens and students in Canada to ensure their safety.
Understanding the Travel Advisory:
Reference 1: India’s Warning to its Citizens
India has issued a travel advisory to its citizens, cautioning them about the “growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada.” This advisory comes in the wake of the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.
While the Canadian government has refuted India’s allegations and claims there is no evidence to support them, India remains concerned about the safety of its citizens in Canada. This advisory is a significant development that highlights escalating tensions between the two nations and underscores the Indian government’s commitment to the well-being of its citizens abroad.
Reference 2: Diplomatic Fallout
The killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar has sparked a diplomatic row between India and Canada. As a result, the Indian government has taken the step of recalling its ambassador to Canada for consultations. In response, the Canadian government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring the safety of all its citizens, including those of Indian origin.
Reference 3: Advisory Details
The advisory for Indian nationals and Indian students in Canada outlines several important points:
- Exercise Utmost Caution: Indian citizens are urged to exercise utmost caution due to the growing anti-India activities, politically-condoned hate crimes, and criminal violence in Canada.
- Targeted Threats: Recent threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda. Hence, it is essential to remain vigilant.
- Avoid Risky Regions and Venues: Indian nationals are advised to avoid traveling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have witnessed such incidents. Staying away from high-risk areas is a proactive measure.
- High Commission/Consulates Support: The High Commission of India in Ottawa and Consulates General of India in Toronto and Vancouver will continue to be in contact with Canadian authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of the Indian community in Canada.
- Caution for Indian Students: Indian students in Canada are advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant due to the deteriorating security environment.
- Registration: Indian nationals and students in Canada must register with the High Commission of India in Ottawa or Consulates General of India in Toronto and Vancouver through their respective websites or the MADAD portal (madad.gov.in). Registration is crucial for timely communication and assistance during emergencies or untoward incidents.
Specific Tips for Indian Citizens and Students in Canada:
- Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated with local news and events, especially those related to the Indian community or security concerns in your area.
- Emergency Contacts: Always have emergency contact numbers readily available, including the High Commission of India and local authorities.
- Travel in Groups: When possible, travel with others, as there is safety in numbers.
- Avoid Controversial Discussions: Steer clear of discussions or activities related to sensitive political issues, especially those that could lead to confrontations.
- Secure Your Documents: Keep your important documents, including passports and visas, in a safe and secure place.
- Stay Connected: Maintain regular contact with your family and friends back in India, so they are aware of your whereabouts.
- Local Authorities: In case of any security concerns or emergencies, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement agencies.
The travel advisory issued by India and the ensuing diplomatic tensions between India and Canada have raised legitimate concerns about the safety and security of Indian citizens and students in Canada. By heeding the advisory’s recommendations and following the specific tips provided, Indian nationals in Canada can take proactive measures to ensure their well-being and make their stay in Canada as safe and enjoyable as possible. It is crucial to remain vigilant, informed, and connected with the relevant authorities to navigate these challenging circumstances successfully.