NEW DELHI – Canada has temporarily suspended in-person operations at its consulates in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, and Mumbai amid a diplomatic dispute with India over the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia.
The move comes hours after Canada withdrew 41 diplomats from India. The Canadian High Commission in New Delhi said that services remain normal in the capital.
The diplomatic row erupted last month when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cited what he said was credible evidence of a potential link between Indian agents and the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
India has denied any involvement in the shooting.
In addition to the suspension of consular services, Canada has also reduced its diplomatic staff in India from 27 to 5. This is likely to impact visa processing times, as the majority of visa applications are handled in India.
The Canadian government has said that it remains committed to welcoming Indian citizens to Canada but that the safety and security of its staff are top priorities.
The diplomatic dispute is a setback for relations between Canada and India, which have been growing closer in recent years. Bilateral trade between the two countries reached $8 billion in 2022.
India is also Canada’s largest source of foreign students.