In limbo amid diplomatic dispute

Billboards outside a Sikh temple advertising immigration services to Canada in Jalandhar, Punjab, India. With Canada home to the largest Sikh population outside India, many Punjabis are caught in a diplomatic firestorm over the death of a separatist leader in British Columbia. — ©2023 The New York Times Company

KULWANT Singh, 45, shut his eyes tight and offered a prayer at a Sikh temple. Clutching a box of sweets and a shiny blue-and-white toy airplane, he and his teenage daughter, Navpreet Kaur, bowed outside the place of worship, Talhan Sahib in Jalandhar, in the North Indian state of Punjab.

For Kulwant and many others, a diplomatic crisis has caused a personal one, too. Though he has a valid visa and plane ticket, his plans to leave for Canada have been abruptly put on hold because of a feud between India and Canada over the killing of a Sikh on Canadian soil, which India’s government is accused of orchestrating.

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