Truckers protest: Advisory issued for Indians in Canada over anti-vaccine agitation

By | February 8, 2022

The High Commission of India in Ottawa on Tuesday issued an advisory for Indian citizens residing in Canada and for those who are planning to travel to the North American country to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ and ‘remain alert’ due to protests by truckers in Ottawa and other cities over Covid-19 vaccine mandates.

“The Canadian capital city of Ottawa and several other major cities, including Toronto, are currently witnessing protests with road blockages, demonstrations, large gatherings and general strikes. This has led to disruptions to traffic, transportation and shortages of essential items including food and water ,” the High Commission said in the advisory.

It is stated that a state of emergency has been declared for Ottawa owing to the prevailing situation.

READ: Anti-vaccine protest in Canada spurs outrage

“The impact on traffic and services is likely to continue and local authorities in other major cities of Canada may also impose curfews or other restrictions at short notice,” the advisory said.

The High Commission said, “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.”

A special emergency helpline (+1) 6137443761 has been set up at the High Commission in Ottawa to provide assistance and guidance to Indian citizens in “distress due to the ongoing disturbances in Canada”.

“Indian citizens in Canada are also encouraged to register with the High Commission of India in Ottawa or Consulates of India in Toronto and Vancouver through their websites, or the MADAD portal madad.gov.in. Registration would enable the High Commission and the Consulates to better connect with Indian citizens in Canada in the event of an emergency,” the High Commission further said.

The “Freedom Convoy” started as a movement against a Canadian vaccine requirement for cross-border truckers, but has turned into a rallying point against public health measures and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government.

Thousands of protesters descended in Ottawa again on the weekend, joining a hundred who remained since last weekend. Residents of Ottawa are furious at the nonstop blaring of horns, traffic disruption and harassment and fear no end is in sight after the police chief called it a “siege” that he could not manage.

Protesters have said they won’t leave until all mandates and Covid-19 restrictions are gone. They are also calling for the removal of Trudeau’s government, though it is responsible for a few of the measures, most of which were put in place by provincial governments.

ALSO READ: Canadian PM Trudeau, family moved to ‘secret location’ as anti-vaccine protest flares up: Report

ALSO READ: Fact Check: ‘The Simpsons’ had not predicted Canadian PM Trudeau fleeing after truckers’ protest

WATCH: Canada Truckers Protest: Why Is Ottawa In A State Of Emergency?

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