The BLS International, a private agency hired for initial scrutiny of visa applications, said "Important notice from Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from 21 September 2023, Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice."
The announcement came amid a diplomatic tussle between the two countries, where Ottawa accused New Delhi of involvement in the killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. Both countries had expelled each other's diplomats from their respective embassies.
Meanwhile, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan indicated that the United States is in "constant" contact with Canada and India to prevent the diplomatic conflict unleashed by the assassination of the Sikh separatist leader from escalating.
The killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar earlier this year has roiled relations between Canada and India after Justin Trudeau accused India of being involved in the murder. "Sikhs across Canada, the United States and the world … are concerned," says @arjunsethi81. pic.twitter.com/LncQ8I5LaN
At a news conference, Sullivan said Washington expressed concern about allegations that Indian agents may have been involved in Nijjar's death.
On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had credible information of possible links of Indian government agents in the murder in Canada of Nijjar, whom the Indian government considered a terrorist.
Nijjar, the Sikh separatist who was murdered in June in front of a temple in Canada, Nijjar, was organizing an unofficial "referendum" to consult the community on the creation in the state of Punjab of an independent country, Khalistan, for the Sikh minority.