The killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar (45) has heated India-Canada diplomatic relations. The common Sikh people are paying the price of the conflict between the two countries. Not only in Punjab or in their own country, diaspora Sikhs are also marginalized now. Suffering is happening everywhere outside the house. Many are constantly afraid of life. Some are spending their days in insecurity.
According to a report by Reuters on Monday, Sikh students who dream of moving to Canada have been disappointed by the Sikh killings. Visa complications are in trouble. Gursimran Singh (19) is one such student who wants to go to Canada. “We are now afraid whether Canada will grant student visas or whether the Indian government will create any new hurdles,” he said.
Sandeep Singh (31) said, “The Modi government has created a ‘climate of fear’ for the youth. Now if we do any movement parents will not send their children. Because they fear that their children will suffer the same fate as Nijr.”
Amidst Nijjar killing controversy, India has taken strict action against Khalistani in Canada. Many Indians living abroad are holders of ‘Overseas Citizenship of India’ cards. That is, they are expatriate citizens of India. There are many such expatriate Indian nationals in Canada as well. However, India is revoking the validity of OCI cards of 12 people for participating in pro-Khalistan meetings and activities.
Meanwhile, the central government recently announced that it has been decided to suspend the visa service for new Canadian citizens to come to India, except for those who already have a visa.
The impact of the Canada-India conflict on the killing of Khalistani leaders is also evident in the UK. British Sikhs have been feeling pressure on this issue for a long time. Because the Indian government has publicly demanded that UK authorities eradicate extremism within the Sikh community. Gurpreet Johal, a lawyer, recalls his bitter past.
Six years ago, Gurpreet’s brother Jagtar went to India to marry a well-known pro-Khalistan rights activist, he said. His brother was forcibly taken away in an unknown vehicle from Rami Mandi town in Punjab. Since then he is in jail in India. He was tortured and forced to sign confessional statements. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stood up for its citizens, where the UK government has failed to do so. British Sikh organizations have expressed strong anger over this.