Canada sacks dozens of Indian staffers working at its diplomatic missions in India

NEW DELHI: Ties between Canada and India have deteriorated further as the former has dismissed from service dozens of Indian staffers working at its diplomatic missions in India, reported on Saturday.

The development has come following months of pressure from New Delhi to decrease Ottawa’s diplomatic workforce in India.

A spokesman for the Canadian High Commission stated on Friday that the reduction in the number of Indian employees was required in light of the country’s shrinking Canadian workforce. “I can confirm that the Government of Canada has implemented some staff reductions across our network of missions in India,” the official said.

The spokesperson, however, had said that the high commission expressed its sincere gratitude for the resilience, dedication and service of its local staff in India.

Relations between the two countries had soured after the murder of top Khalistani Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Colombia, Canada last year on June 18.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had then alleged that India was behind Nijjar’s assassination, which prompted India to order 41 ambassadorial staff members of Canada to leave the country.

Last Wednesday, Trudeau had once against taken up the issue of killing of Nijjar by the Indian intelligence agencies on Canadian soil last year and asserted that his government stood up to defend the rights and freedoms of all Canadians.

The Canadian prime minister, who was testifying at a high-profile public inquiry looking into foreign interference in the country’s electoral process on Wednesday, also alleged that the previous government was “cozy” with the Indian government.

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