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India asks its citizens in Canada to ‘remain alert’ amid truckers protest: What you need to know

Picture courtesy: Hindustan Times

India’s High Commission in Ottawa on Tuesday issued an advisory asking Indian citizens in Canada to exercise caution due to the ongoing truckers protest against Covid-19 restrictions in the capital and across the country.

The protest, going on two weeks, continues to lay siege to Ottawa, and has been divided opinions with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau being criticised for demonising its organisers for disagreeing with his government’s policies.

“In view of the ongoing situation, Indian citizens in Canada and those planning to visit Canada are hereby advised to exercise a high degree of caution and remain alert, avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place, such as downtown Ottawa, follow the instructions of local authorities, including curfews and monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations and the evolving situation,” the advisory said.

Ottawa is under a state of emergency after protestors blockaded the downtown area with trucks and cars.

Police have seized thousands of litres of fuel in recent days.

Though the rally has been mostly peaceful, police have expressed concern about extremist rhetoric coming from far-right groups among the protesters. As well as reported racial and homophobic abuse, some danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial.

The advisory was accompanied by a special emergency hotline “to provide assistance and guidance to Indian citizens in distress due to the ongoing disturbances”.

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