India Restores E-visa Services for Canadian Citizens


India is restoring e-visa services for Canadian citizens, an Indian Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday, two months after Canada accused the South Asian country of involvement in the killing of a Sikh separatist in Canada.

Electronic visas went back into effect on Wednesday, the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The move could ease tensions between the two countries, which traded accusations and expelled diplomats after India imposed a visa ban on Canadian citizens.

A diplomatic spat erupted between the two countries after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in September that there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the killing of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar in a suburb of the western Canadian city of Vancouver.

Nijjar, a 45-year-old Sikh activist and plumber, was killed by masked gunmen in June in Surrey, outside Vancouver.

For years, India has said that Nijjar, a Canadian citizen born in India, had ties to terrorism. Nijjar himself denied the allegations, and India rejected Canada’s accusations of involvement in the killing as “absurd.”

New Delhi’s concerns about Sikh separatist groups in Canada have long strained relations between the two countries, although defense and trade ties remain strong. India has previously accused Canada of harboring separatist groups and “terrorists.”

Canada recalled 41 of its 62 diplomats in India after New Delhi warned it would revoke their diplomatic immunity – something Canadian officials see as a violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Last month, India eased the ban and resumed entry, business, medical and conference visa services for Canadian citizens.

Source : VOA