Canada, on Tuesday, again sparked a major row by updating its travel advisory, wherein it advised its citizens to avoid travelling to several regions including Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Manipur.
“Exercise a high degree of caution while travelling to India. Exercise a high degree of caution in India due to the threat of terrorist attacks throughout the country,” reads the message published on the Canadian website.
Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur and Assam are in focus
“The security situation in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is tense. There are high risks of violent protests, civil unrest and acts of terrorism and militancy. Violent clashes between militants and security forces occur regularly. Terrorist attacks against security forces have led to civilian casualties,” read the message.
“Several extremist and insurgent groups are active in the northeastern states of Assam and Manipur. They regularly target local government and security forces and may use various criminal activities to finance their activities. Ethnic tensions in the State can also lead to conflict and civil unrest,” it added.
The travel advisory from the Canadian side came a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged India’s involvement in the killing of separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar who was killed by two unidentified men in June this year.
Although India called the allegations “absurd” and “baseless”, both sides have expelled its diplomats from the national capitals.
Regarding women’s safety, it asked its citizens to avoid travelling to India’s national capital, Delhi, Goa, and other regions. “Crimes committed against women frequently occur in India. Foreign women are often the target of unwanted attention. Staring, verbal abuse, groping, and other forms of sexual harassment can occur anywhere, including in tourist sites and areas. Attackers sometimes act as a group.
“Reports of rape and assault against foreign women have increased. You should be particularly vigilant: in Goa, in Delhi, on all forms of public transportation, at Yoga centres, ashrams and other places of spiritual retreats,” it added.
Besides, Canada asked its citizens to avoid all travel to areas within 10 km of the border with Pakistan in states like Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan due to the “unpredictable security situation and presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance”.
Trudeau says he does want to provoke India
Earlier today, Trudeau clarified that he was not trying to provoke New Delhi but rather wanted his Indian counterpart to address the issue properly.
“The government of India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness. We are doing that, we are not looking to provoke or escalate,” news agency Reuters quoted the Canadian PM as saying to reporters on Tuesday.
The statement from Washington came after Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said the expelled Indian diplomat was the head of Indian intelligence in Canada and added her PM also raised the matter with US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.