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Canada updates travel advisory to India amid diplomatic standoff

Amid worsening bilateral ties in the wake of tit-for-tat expulsions over the alleged Indian involvement in the killing of a Khalistani leader on its soil, the Canadian government on Tuesday issued a travel advisory, asking its citizens to "exercise a high degree of caution".

Triggering a tense diplomatic standoff earlier, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that India had a role in the killing of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

"Avoid all travel to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir due to the unpredictable security situation. There is a threat of terrorism, militancy, civil unrest and kidnapping. This advisory excludes travelling to or within the Union Territory of Ladakh," the Canadian government stated in its travel advisory for India.

"Avoid gatherings and demonstrations," the advisory added.

The advisory was updated after Trudeau said on Tuesday that Ottawa wants New Delhi to address the issue properly, according to CBC News. The Canadian PM added, however, that his country wasn't trying to provoke India by any means.

"We are not looking to provoke or escalate. We are simply laying out the facts as we understand them," the Canadian PM told reporters, adding, "The government of India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness. We are doing that."

"As for Canada, I said yesterday...we are going to remain calm, we are going to remain grounded in our democratic principles and values.... and we are going to follow the evidence and make sure the work is done," he added.

Nijjar, who was wanted in India, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.

India rejected the allegation of involvement in the murder of the Khalistani leader, with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) terming the charge ‘absurd ‘and ‘motivated’.

“We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister,” the MEA said in an official statement.

“Allegations of the Indian government’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated," the release added.

Trudeau triggered a diplomatic storm on Monday, saying there was “credible evidence” India was responsible for the alleged assassination of Nijjar.

Hailing from Bharsinghpur village in Punjab's Jalandhar, Nijjar was based in Surrey and had been declared "absconder" by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).


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