Canada Sikh Killed | Canada Sikh Death

Indo-Canadians who spoke to the BBC said that while their community was taken aback by Canada's allegations, they have not experienced threats to their safety or heightened tensions day-to-day.

A pro-Khalistan rally and a counter-protest in Toronto after the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar

Canada has a large Indo-Canadian population with deep ties to both countries. There are 1.86m residents of Indian descent in Canada, with diverse religious and socio-economic backgrounds.

Ranbir Grewal, a tech professional in Toronto who identifies as Sikh, said his social group is a mix of Hindu and Sikh Canadians - all of whom denounce remarks that Hindu Canadians must leave Canada.

"Those are relatively offensive statements, and they get a reaction, people are talking about it," Mr Grewal said.

Mr Grewal also spoke out against the government of India's recently issued travel advisory for Canada, warning its citizens to exercise "utmost caution" when visiting the North American country because of the potential for violence.

"I've been going about meeting people the same way, my day-to-day life hasn't changed much," he said.

He said he believes any inflammatory remarks are being made to certain factions of the Indo-Canadian community, and do not represent how the majority feel.

Radhika Sharma, a Vancouver-based student who is Hindu, said she views talk of a rift as a "political" issue.

She added that some, including her Sikh friends, have been upset by Mr Trudeau's accusation, as his government has not yet provided evidence publicly to back it up.

"We don't know if it's true or not, but if it is then it should have supportive evidence," she said. "This is just creating a tussle and a war between two great countries."

Rupinder Liddar, a PhD student at McGill University in Montreal, whose research focuses on the Sikh-Canadian community, said she has seen misinformation being spread online, conflating the Khalistan movement with violence or terrorism.

But she said that despite a sense of political divide among some in the Indo-Canadian community, Hindus and Sikhs in Canada have always had close ties.

"There should be no tension between the Sikh-Canadian and Hindu-Canadian communities," she said, "rather this is all about foreign interference in Canada by a foreign government."

No comments