41 Canadian Diplomats Leaves India Over Sikh Activist’s Assassination

Canada has pulled 41 officials and their families out of India after New Delhi said it would take away their diplomatic immunity because of the growing dispute over the death of a Sikh activist.

This comes after a string of official expulsions between the two countries following the murder in June of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen and well-known Sikh leader, by two masked assailants in British Columbia.

Canada's leader, Justin Trudeau, said that his intelligence services were looking into "credible allegations" that the killing may have been connected to Indian government agents. This caused a rift between the two countries. India has strongly denied having anything to do with Nijjar's death and has called the claims "absurd and motivated."

India has also stopped giving Canadians visas because of what it calls "security threats" against diplomats in Canada. This is in addition to the foreign expulsions.

In an effort to achieve diplomatic "parity," India said last month that it would ask a number of Canadian officials to leave the country.

On Thursday, when the 41 diplomats left, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said that India's recent moves were "unreasonable."

"I always worry most about the safety of Canadians and our diplomats." Joly told a news conference in Ottawa, "Because India's actions put our diplomats' safety at risk, we made sure they could leave successfully."

Joly said that those officials and their families had already left India. There were still 21 Canadian diplomats there, though.

Joly also said that the Canadian government would not respond in kind because it would be against international law to do so.

According to Joly, all they want India to do is follow international law.

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