Canada issues second advisory for its citizens travelling to India, asks them to be vigilant

"Avoid non-essential travel to Assam and Manipur due to risk of terrorism and insurgency and avoid all travel to Jammu and Kashmir due to unpredictability, civil unrest, kidnapping,’’ the advisory rea
Image used for representation.
Image used for representation.

NEW DELHI: Canada has issued a second advisory (within a span of a week) for its citizens travelling to India.

"In the context of recent developments in Canada and in India, there are calls for protests and some negative sentiment towards Canada on social media. Please remain vigilant and exercise caution," the Canadian government said in an update on Sunday.

Tensions flared between India and Canada following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's explosive allegations of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, on his country's soil on June 18 in British Columbia.

India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.

India angrily rejected the allegations as "absurd" and "motivated" and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa's expulsion of an Indian official over the case.

Canada has asked its citizens to be extremely vigilant and exercise a great degree of caution in India due to the threat of terrorist attacks throughout the country. "Avoid non-essential travel to Assam and Manipur due to risk of terrorism and insurgency and avoid all travel to Jammu and Kashmir due to unpredictability, civil unrest, kidnapping,’’ the advisory reads. It excludes advisory to Ladakh.

The advisory also says that Canadian citizens should avoid all travel to areas within 10 km of the border with Pakistan which includes the states of Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan due to the presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance. The advisory excludes the Wagah border crossing.

"The level of tension between India and Pakistan may change suddenly. You could experience difficulties when travelling between the two countries. You may be subject to scrutiny if officials from either country become aware that you have recently travelled to the other," it says.

"The security situation along the border with Pakistan, especially along the Line of Control (LoC), which separates the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, remains volatile. Cross-border gunfire and shelling are occurring sporadically along the LoC. The presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance also constitute a risk. Although international travellers regularly use the Wagah border crossing linking Amritsar, India, to Lahore, Pakistan, it remains vulnerable to attack. Security measures are in place. You may experience long delays,’’ it states.

They have also cautioned travellers from going into Naxalite areas like Chattisgarh and Telangana.

The advisory also says (for Jammu and Kashmir) that since there are violent clashes between militants and security forces, avoid gatherings and demonstrations, and always carry an ID.

"In the context of recent developments in Canada and in India, there are calls for protests and some negative sentiments towards Canada on social media, please remain vigilant and exercise caution,’’ the advisory reads.

There is a special word of caution for women as they say foreign women are the target of unwanted attention and crimes committed against women are frequent in India. There is a special word of caution for women visiting Goa and Delhi and in Yoga centres and spiritual retreats.

There is also special mention of road conditions and road safety – which are poorly maintained and lead to traffic congestion.

``Drivers do not respect traffic laws, they are aggressive and reckless. Driving is hazardous due to the presence of livestock and fatal road accidents can lead to mob anger and assault.’

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