Amid a huge diplomatic row between India and Canada, the parents of Indian students are worried that the standoff can impact their children in Canada and expose them to a security risk.
They are worried that their children may experience discrimination or bias based on their nationality.
“We are worried, my daughter went to Canada to study seven months ago. My child is also worried there, she can’t focus on her studies,” Balwinder Singh – whose daughter studies in Canada – told news agency ANI.
“My two daughters are in Canada and I am tensed. Governments of both countries should find a solution,” another parent, Kuldeep Kaur said.
Some students are also jittery about their plan to study in Canada as the hostility between the two countries deepens. They are worried that the government move to suspend Visa services in Canada may have a direct implication on their migration.
Punjab BJP Chief Sunil Jakhar has urged External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to set up a helpline for Indians students and residents in Canada.
“I would request you to institute a dedicated helpline number on which our NRIs and students can contact and seek help from Indian Consulates. A WhatsApp number can be released for Indian students planning to go abroad to get in touch with authorities in case of need and guidance,” Mr Jakhar said.
Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and ensure the well-being of the students in Canada.
Earlier this week, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the explosive charge that “Indian government agents” could be behind the shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a wanted terrorist in India, outside a gurdwara in Surrey in June. India rejected the allegation as “absurd”.
Canada has shared no specific information regarding its charges, India said, flagging “politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence” in that country.
Both India and Canada issued travel advisories and expelled a senior diplomat of the other country.