Canada ‘temporarily’ adjusts diplomatic staff in India after social media threats

News Network
September 21, 2023


New Delhi, Sept 21: Canada's high commission in India said on Thursday that it has decided to temporarily "adjust" staff presence in the country after some diplomats received threats on social media platforms, adding to spiralling tensions between the two countries.

The statement from the high commission came soon after an Indian company published a notice that it was suspending visa services for Canadian citizens following a notice from the Indian mission. It then withdrew it minutes later before re-publishing it again.

BLS International, an Indian company offering visa facilities, said on Wednesday the notice from the Indian mission in Canada cited "operational reasons" for suspension of visa services "till further notice".

Spokespersons for the Canadian high commission and the Indian foreign ministry did not respond to queries on the two developments.

Tensions between the two countries escalated earlier this week when Canada said that it was "actively pursuing credible allegations" linking Indian government agents to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia in June.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government categorically rejected Canada's suspicions that Indian agents had links to the alleged murder.

With both nations expelling a diplomat each, analysts said relations between the two countries have touched the lowest point.

"In light of the current environment where tensions have heightened, we are taking action to ensure the safety of our diplomats," the Canadian high commission said in a statement.

"With some diplomats having received threats on various social media platforms, Global Affairs Canada is assessing its staff complement in India," it said, referring to the Canadian government department which manages Ottawa's diplomatic and consular relations.

"As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily adjust staff presence in India," it said, without elaborating on what it meant by adjusting staff presence.

"In the context of respect for obligations under the Vienna conventions, we expect India to provide for the security of our accredited diplomats and consular officers in India, just as we are for theirs here."

After the tit-for-tat expulsions of senior diplomats, the two countries issued tit-for-tat travel advisories on Tuesday and Wednesday, with India urging its nationals in Canada, especially students, to exercise "utmost caution".


The tensions were sparked on Monday after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa was investigating "credible allegations" about the potential involvement of Indian government agents in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June.

Canadian officials have so far declined to say why they believe India could be linked to Nijjar's murder.

New Delhi has also not provided evidence or details of specific incidents leading to its travel advisory that refers to "growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada".

Canada is a safe country, its public safety minister Dominic LeBlanc said hours after India's advisory.

Canada has the largest population of Sikhs outside the Indian state of Punjab, with about 770,000 people reporting Sikhism as their religion in the 2021 census.

Some Indian analysts say Ottawa does not curb Sikh protesters as they are a politically influential group.

The spat is also threatening trade ties, with talks on a proposed trade deal frozen last week.

Canada is India's 17th largest foreign investor, pouring in more than $3.6 billion since 2000, while Canadian portfolio investors have invested billions of dollars in Indian stock and debt markets.

Since 2018, India has been the largest source country for international students in Canada.

In 2022, their number rose 47% to nearly 320,000, accounting for about 40% of total overseas students, the Canadian Bureau of International Education says, which also helps universities and colleges provide a subsidised education to domestic students.

Industry estimates show the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Canada and India could boost two-way trade by as much as $6.5 billion, yielding a GDP gain of $3.8 billion to $5.9 billion for Canada by 2035.


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News Network
November 22,2023


In the competitive world of Indian engineering entrance exams, where lakhs aspire and only a few succeed, one extraordinary individual stands out. 

Satyam Kumar, the son of a farmer from Bihar, embarked on a journey that began at the tender age of 12 and culminated in an astonishing achievement – cracking the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) at just 13 years old.


Back in 2013, Satyam Kumar made history when he secured the 670th rank in the IIT-JEE, becoming the youngest Indian to achieve this remarkable feat, breaking the record of Delhi's Sahal Kaushik who had achieved the feat at the age of 14 in 2010.

Satyam's journey was not without its share of challenges, but his unwavering determination and hard work were instrumental in his success. Born and raised in Bihar's Bhojpur district, Satyam set his sights on a brighter future through education.

Interestingly, this was Satyam's second time cracking the IIT exam at such a young age. He first cleared the exam in 2012, at the age of 12. But after achieving an all-India rank of 8,137, he decided to retake the IIT-JEE, aiming for a higher rank.

Satyam's journey continued as he pursued higher education. He completed his BTech-MTech Dual Degree in Electrical Engineering at IIT Kanpur in 2018, after which he set off for the University of Texas at Austin for his PhD.

He is currently specialised in brain-computer interfaces and working as a graduate research assistant. He worked on 3 projects in 2016 while at IIT: 'Electrooculogram based eye blink classification During EOG signal accuistion', 'Optimisation of electrode positions in Different Brain Computer Interfaces', and 'Imaginative Speech based Brain-Computer Interface'.


According to Satyam's LinkedIn profile, he embarked on a career journey that led him to prestigious institutions like ETH Zurich and Inria before landing a research internship at InterDigital Inc.

Most notably, he worked at Apple as a Machine Learning Intern until August 2023, highlighting his prowess in the tech industry.


In an interview with India Today in 2013, Satyam expressed his desire to make a significant impact in the world of technology, mentioning his aspiration to develop something akin to Facebook.

He also harbors ambitions of a future in bureaucracy and envisions teaching the children of his home district.

Satyam Kumar's remarkable journey is a testament to the power of determination and unwavering commitment. From a young boy with a dream to a professional excelling at Apple, his story continues to inspire the youth of India.


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News Network
November 27,2023

A Palestinian prisoner hugs a relative after detainees were released from Israeli jails and returned to the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on November 26, 2023.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says it seeks to extend a four-day truce with the Israeli regime after it expires on Monday.

"We are seeking to extend the four-day truce with Israel if serious efforts are made [by the regime] to increase the number of Palestinian detainees released from Israeli prisons," the group said in a brief statement carried by the Palestinian Information Center on Sunday.

The truce took effect on Friday after a night of intense Israeli bombardment, requiring the release of Israeli captives held in Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in the regime's jails. It mandated the release of 50 Israeli captives in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners.

So far following the deal, the regime has released three 39-strong batches of Palestinian prisoners. In return, Hamas has freed nearly 40 Israeli captives and a number of foreign nationals.

Following the statement, a member of Hamas' Political Bureau, Khalil al-Hayya, confirmed the movement's seriousness about extending the truce into a "comprehensive prisoner exchange deal," the agency reported.

"We were concerned from day one about the return of detained women and children to their families," he said, adding, "We will strive with full diligence to secure the release of more civilian detainees."

He added that once the movement makes sure about the possibility of securing the freedom of more Palestinian detainees, it will inform concerned parties about extension of the truce.

"We want to stop the aggression against our people and [make sure about] the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip," the official said.

After the truce entered into force, Ziyad Nakhalah, the secretary general of the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad resistance movement, said the Israeli regime agreed to the truce because it failed to achieve its stated goals in the Gaza war and also due to its "losses on the battlefield."

"Had it not been for the losses on the battlefield, the Zionist regime would not have agreed to the ceasefire agreement and the exchange of prisoners," Nakhalah added in a televised address.

He said the resistance would "force the Zionist enemy to exchange all the prisoners on a wider scale."

"The rest of the enemy's prisoners, including officers and soldiers, will not be released without the release of the rest of our prisoners, and this issue is related to the end of the war and aggression," Nakhala asserted. 


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News Network
November 20,2023


As many as 59 Palestinian journalists have been killed and dozens injured during the Israeli regime's ongoing war on the Gaza Strip, says an independent human rights advocacy group.

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor provided the information in a press statement released through Palestinian media on Sunday.

According to the statement, the fatalities equaled "the highest-ever number of journalists killed in wars and conflicts in modern history."

The group attributed the regime's brutality towards journalists to its efforts to impose "a real and comprehensive media blackout" during the war.

The Israeli regime started the war on Gaza after the territory's Palestinian resistance groups carried out the surprise Operation al-Aqsa Storm against the occupied territories on October 7 in response to the regime’s intensified crimes against the Palestinian people.

Gaza's Health Ministry says at least 13,000 Palestinians, including more than 5,000 children, have so far been killed, and about 30,000 people have been injured.

The killing spree targeting journalists, Euro-Med Monitor said, came amid unfounded allegations by some Israeli officials that Palestinian press crews had prior knowledge of the October 7 operation.

According to the group, "Israel purposefully [has] left no safe haven for journalists in the Gaza Strip. Journalists were targeted even when they were wearing press jackets in the field, in press tents erected for media coverage next to hospitals, or even in their family homes."

The latest of the fatalities were caused on Saturday, when the regime's forces killed two journalists in an airstrike targeting Gaza's Bureij refugee camp.

The victims were identified as Sari Mansour and his colleague Hassouna Salim. They lost their lives after Mansour’s home came under an Israeli bombardment inside the camp, which is located in the central Gaza Strip.

According to Euro-Med Monitor, the Israeli war has led to complete or partial destruction of at least 117 press offices.

The regime has also restricted satellite channels operating in the Palestinian territories during the war, including Lebanon's al-Mayadeen television network, and has threatened to restrict Qatar's Al Jazeera network.

The advocacy body added that it has "received identical testimonies from [Palestinian] journalists expressing their fear that the media equipment they received from international organizations via Israel may include location-tracking and eavesdropping devices, which may have facilitated their targeting during the war."

Euro-Med Monitor asserted that targeting journalists is considered a war crime under international humanitarian law. 


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