While the diplomatic standoff between India and Canada continues to escalate, Indian families are worried about their safety and security.
Raj Bheda, brother of a NRI living in Canada's Calgary said, "My sister lives there with her family. They are green card holders. My father has also gone there on a tourist visa. The controversy has snowballed to the extent that it has become unbearable."
Early last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an explosive statement accusing the Indian government of being involved in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar a claim that India has outrightly rejected, calling it absurd and motivated.
"The Indian government should allow passengers to return back those who have a genuine visa and the government should take strict action on illegal visa holders. Our demand is that the Indians living in Canada should be safe. We are in touch with our relatives in Canada but they are also very scared. They have purchased the groceries for the entire month in one go as they are worried that Indians may not be allowed to enter the stores," said Bheda.
He further said that he was worried about his father as his father was scheduled to return via the Netherlands. "Once his flight takes off from the Netherlands then only we can be sure that he will return back safe," he added.
Meanwhile, India has suspended its visa services in Canada, following Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau's allegations of Indian involvement in the killing.
Amid strained ties, India issued an advisory for its citizens and those who are travelling to Canada to exercise utmost caution in view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence" in the country.
Nearly 2,26,450 Indian students went to Canada in 2022, as per data released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). (ANI)