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In a tit-for-tat move, India expels Canadian diplomat over ‘interference’

Security personnel stand guard in front of the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi on September 19, 2023. (Photo by Getty Images)

Hours after Ottawa expelled an Indian diplomat over the killing of a Sikh separatist, India ordered a senior Canadian diplomat to leave the country, citing “growing concern” over the diplomats’ “interference” in New Delhi’s internal affairs.

The Indian foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the Canadian high commissioner to India, or the ambassador, had been summoned and told that the concerned diplomat must leave the country within five days.

“The decision reflects the government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities,” the ministry said.

Tensions have been escalating between Ottawa and New Delhi since June, after the killing of the Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia.


On Monday, Canada said it was “actively pursuing credible allegations” linking Indian government agents to the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and expelled the head of Indian intelligence in Canada as a consequence.

Earlier on Tuesday, India dismissed the accusation as “absurd and motivated” and called on Canada instead to take legal action against anti-Indian elements operating from its soil.

“Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” India’s foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to the separatist movement which is banned in India.

Since the 1980s, India has targeted the separatist movement that sought the creation of an independent country for the Sikhs, called Khalistan.

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