India rejects 'politically driven' allegations by Canada amid diplomatic rowtext_fields
New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated today that Canada has not provided any particular evidence on its claims that India played a role in the killing of a Khalistani terrorist on Canadian soil and that the allegation appears to be "politically driven."
Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for the MEA, told reporters in Delhi that while Canada has not provided any information regarding the initial allegations made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the death of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June, India has informed Canada that it is willing to look into the matter, NDTV reported.
"No specific information was shared by Canada then, before, or after. We are willing to look at specific information if provided to us. From our side, we have very specific information on particular individuals in Canada and all these have been shared with them. But Canada hasn't acted on them," Mr Bagchi said.
India froze all Canadian visas today, and Canada said it will decrease its diplomatic staff in India, intensifying the huge diplomatic crisis.
Considering that Canada has more staff in India than India does in Canada, India also wants Canada to scale back its diplomatic presence.
According to Mr Bagchi, India has asked Canada to take action against more than 20 people connected to Khalistani terrorism. According to him, Canada has turned into one of the top safe havens for terrorists, and the hold on Canadian visa applications is related to the broader problem of Khalistani terrorism.
"Canada should worry about its growing reputation of being a safe haven for extremists and terrorists," the MEA spokesperson said.
India has dismissed the Canadian accusations as "absurd" and "motivated" and has expelled a senior Canadian ambassador in retaliation for Ottawa's decision to expel an Indian official over the matter.
In a Vancouver suburb outside Surrey, Nijjar was shot and killed by two masked assailants outside the Sikh temple he oversaw. He was wanted by India over terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder.
India charges Ottawa of turning a blind eye to the actions of extreme Sikh nationalists who support carving out an independent state from northern India.