The Indian flag is seen flying at the High Commission of India in Ottawa, Canada, Sept. 20, 2023. (AP Photo)
India has conveyed to Canada that it expects the repatriation of 41 diplomats by October 10, intensifying diplomatic tensions between the two nations.
Tensions between India and Canada have escalated, with Canada harbouring suspicions that Indian government agents were involved in the murder of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia.
Nijjar, also a Canadian citizen, had been labelled a "terrorist" by India due to his advocacy for Khalistan, an independent Sikh state. India has categorically dismissed the murder allegation as absurd.
As per reports from The Financial Times on Tuesday, India has issued an ultimatum to Canada, demanding the repatriation of 41 diplomats by October 10.
If these diplomats remain in Canada beyond this deadline, India has threatened to revoke their diplomatic immunity. Canada currently has 62 diplomats stationed in India, and India insists on a reduction to a total of 21 diplomats.
Canada is home to a significant Sikh population, approximately 770,000 strong, which is the largest Sikh community outside of India's northern state of Punjab.
This sizable community has contributed to a notable Sikh representation in Canada's House of Commons, with 15 Sikh members holding more than 4 per cent of the seats, despite comprising only about 2 per cent of the Canadian population.