OTTAWA: The Indian Mission in Canada suspended visa services on Thursday till further notice, citing operational reasons, according to BLS International.
BLS International Services Limited is an Indian outsourcing service provider for government and diplomatic missions worldwide. The company manages visa, passport, consular, attestation, and citizen services.
As per BLS International, interested visa applicants have been advised to keep checking the BLS website for further updates on the issue.
"Important notice from Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from September 21, 2023, Indian visa services have been suspended until further notice. Please keep checking the BLS website for further updates," the BLS website said.
This comes amid strains in India-Canada relations after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged on Monday that the Indian government was behind the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Najjar, 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 reject 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.
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. (ANI)