The government today warned Indian nationals in Canada and students visiting the country to “be watchful” in the face of a “sharp surge in hate crimes, sectarian violence, and anti-India activities.”
The Foreign Ministry stated that it has raised incidences of hate crimes, sectarian violence, and anti-India activities with Canada and has requested that the authorities investigate and take action. According to a government statement, “The perpetrators of these acts have thus far not been brought to justice in Canada.”
In light of the growing incidents of crime, as indicated above, “Indian nationals and students from India in Canada, as well as those traveling to Canada for travel/education, are recommended to exercise necessary caution and remain attentive.”
The advice was issued in the midst of a major diplomatic crisis over a so-called referendum on a separate homeland for Sikhs held by “pro-Khalistan” groups. Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, condemned the referendum as a “farcical exercise performed by extremist and radical elements.” He also called it “very reprehensible” that this could happen in a friendly country.
Indian nationals and students in Canada were advised by the government to register with the Indian mission in Ottawa or the consulates in Toronto and Vancouver. According to the statement, this will “allow High Commission and the Consulates General to better interact with Indian citizens in Canada in the event of any demand or emergency.”
There are 1.6 million people of Indian heritage and non-resident Indians in Canada. They make up more than 3% of the Canadian population. Indians first arrived in Canada in the late 1800s to work in the forestry industry. The Indian population in British Columbia’s western region peaked in 1908, followed by a period of demographic decline and stagnation. In the middle of the 20th century, Canada’s immigration laws were made easier, which led to a huge increase in population that has continued to this day.
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