India has alleged discrimination and the foreign ministry says the number of officers denied visa by Canada is now in double digits. The grounds for denial have ranged from human rights violation to terrorism and the home ministry has expressed strong objection. India, the sources say, believes these are spurious and insulting grounds.
The Home Ministry has not ruled out retaliatory action.
In the latest episode, a member of the Prime Minister's advance security liaison team was initially denied visa. The PM is scheduled to visit Canada in late June to attend the G-20 summit.
This is not an isolated incident. More and more cases are now emerging of officers being denied visas by Canada. These include three serving Army officers, a former Director General of Military Operations, Lt Gen (retd) AS Bahia, former Army Commander Lt Gen (retd) OP Nandrajog, former Intelligence Bureau officer SS Sidhu, who was denied a visa in March this year despite two earlier visits and retired BSF head constable Fateh Singh Pandher.
NDTV has a copy of the letter that the Canadian High Commission wrote to SS Sidhu while denying him a visa. The retired officer was told that he fell in the category of people "inadmissible" on security grounds due to his stint with the Indian Intelligence Bureau.
The grounds include:
- Engaging in terrorism or act of espionage,
- Being a danger to the security of Canada and its people,
- Being a member of an organisation that engages in terrorism, espionage or subversive activities
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections. Election results will be out on May 23.