New Delhi [India], September 21 (ANI): Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Thursday said that the allegations made by Canada regarding the "potential links" of India behind the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar are"Politically driven".
"Yes, I do think there is a degree of prejudice here. They have made allegations and taken action against them. To us, it seems that these allegations by the government of Canada are primarily politically driven," Bagchi said while addressing a weekly presser.
The MEA further said no information has been shared by Canada regarding the killing of Nijjar.
"We are willing to look at any specific information that is provided to us, but so far we have received no specific information from Canada," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday answering queries.
With the diplomatic row between India and Canada reaching the level of expelling envoys, Bagchi said that the Indian government has conveyed to the Canadian government that there should be parity in the strength of diplomatic presence.
He said, "We've informed the Govt of Canada that there should be parity in strength in our mutual diplomatic presence. Their number is very much higher than ours in Canada... I assume there will be a reduction from the Canadian side.
"Arindam Bagchi further commented that the Government of India has informed multiple times to the Canadian government about the use of its soil for criminal activities and added that no action was taken by Canada.
"We are willing to look at any specific information that is provided to us, but so far we have received no specific information from Canada. From our side, specific evidence about criminal activities by individuals based on Canadian soil has been shared with Canada but not acted upon," said Bagchi.
MEA Spokesperson said, "Safe haven is being provided in Canada, we want the Canadian govt to not do so and take action against those who have terrorism charges or send them here to face justice...We've sought either extradition request or assistance related to that, at least more than 20-25 individuals we've requested over the years but the response has not been helpful at all."On increasing security at Indian Consulate in Canada, he said, "We have always believed that it is the host government's responsibility to provide security. Some places we have our own security posture also. But, I don't want to discuss security measures in public. That's not an appropriate situation."On Wednesday, Indian nationals, students in Canada and those planning on travelling to the country were advised to exercise caution. Indian nationals and Indian students in Canada were advised to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen growing anti-India activities, according to a release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Indian students in Canada have been particularly advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant.
The updated travel advisory for students came amidst a strain in India-Canada relations after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday alleged that the Indian government was behind the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Nijjar, who was a designated terrorist in India, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
Trudeau during a debate in the Canadian Parliament, claimed his country's national security officials had reasons to believe that "agents of the Indian government" carried out the killing of the Canadian citizen, who also served as the president of Surrey's Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.The allegations made by the Canadian Prime Minister and foreign minister were rejected by the Ministry of External Affairs in India which dubbed the statements as absurd.
"We have seen and rejected the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as well as the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of the Government of India's involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated" the statement said. (ANI)