India suspended visa services for Canadian nationals on Thursday, marking a sharp escalation in the diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
Driving the news: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this week alleged that agents of the Indian government may have been involved in the June killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, on Canadian soil.
India has denied the allegations, calling them “absurd and motivated.”
State of play: BLS International, the third party that processes visa applications for India in Canada, announced on its website this week that it would suspend its visa services starting Sept. 21 until further notice due to “operational reasons.”
India issued an advisory Wednesday warning Indians considering travel to Canada to “exercise utmost caution” due to “growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada.”
Canada’s Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc dismissed the news of the travel advisory, telling reporters, “Canada is a safe country,” the New York Times reported.
Zoom out: Earlier this week India and Canada engaged in a tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats.
The Canadian Prime Minister’s office did not return Axios’ request for comment.