India on Tuesday announced the expulsion of a senior Canadian diplomat, hours after Canada asked an Indian official to leave that country, citing a “potential” Indian link to the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in June.
The diplomatic spat has strained the relations between the two countries, which have been tense over the issue of Sikh separatism and human rights.
Canada is home to a large Sikh diaspora, some of whom support the creation of an independent state of Khalistan in India. Protests by pro-Khalistan groups in Canada have angered Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which considers them as a threat to India’s sovereignty and unity.
Trade talks between the two countries have also been derailed and Canada recently cancelled a trade mission to India that was planned later this year.