Facing deportation from Canada, Indian students to go on full hunger strike

The hunger strike by Indian students, protesting the immigration cuts in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, has entered the fourth day. The protestors will now go on a complete hunger strike for 24 hours on May 28.
Facing deportation from Canada, Indian students to go on full hunger strike
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Indian students, facing deportation from the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, have been on a hunger strike for four days. Now, they have threatened to go on a full hunger strike by avoiding even fluid intake on May 28. The hunger strike comes as hundreds of Indian students are facing deportation after a change in the provincial laws related to immigration.

One of the Indian protesters said around 50 students had already left Canada.

After the hunger strike for four days, the protestors will start a dry hunger strike on May 28, Canadian media outlet, CBC, reported on Tuesday.

A dry hunger strike means these protestors would be without any liquids as well and this puts their lives at more risk than if they were at least having liquids.

This comes against the backdrop of the Prince Edward Island (PEI) government's decision to reduce the number of workers for permanent residency in 2024 from around 2,100 to 1,600. It would decrease the people from other countries who are nominated for permanent residency in Canada through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

The nominees will be cut by 25% in 2024, as there is stress on PEI's healthcare and housing system. The PEI locals are appreciating the government's new rules.


The Indian immigrants say their opportunities are being taken away.

Jaspreet Singh Sivia, one of the protestors, blames the government for disrupting the life of people who were already in the process of getting permanent residency in Canada.

The Indian students plan to step up the protests if the government refuses to listen.

"There have been no actions taken. It looks like the government has become deaf," Sivia said. "We will be doing a 24-hour dry hunger strike effective Tuesday if we still don't hear from the government officials. We will be there 24/7, every day."

Silvia said the protestors realise the health risk they are taking, but they also want to fight for fair opportunity.

These protests began on May 9 and involved 60 protestors with their posters in front of the Colest Building at the PEI legislature.

Now, from May 28, the protestors will move to the site permanently, reports CBC.


The protestors are demanding that people who came before July 2023 should be exempted from the immigration cuts.

Rupinder Pal Singh, one of the protestors even told CBC how around 50 people have left Canada due to the change of regulations.

"There are some people who have been harassing us ... throwing glasses, cans at us, throwing water while people were asleep," Singh said. "We even saw the harassment from people shouting, making noise all night long because we have been protesting outside, people have been sleeping."


Charlottetown police's Deputy Chief Sean Coombs told CBC how the protests are being watched by patrol officers.

"We have not received any medical distress calls through our dispatch to this location. We have a designated officer who remains in contact with this group and has open dialogue. The group remains peaceful and respectful of rules and law," Coombs told CBC.

The protestors have the opposition's support. "It's very unfair," said Liberal MLA Gord McNeilly. "They're already here."

He supported the immigrants and said, "those little things that the government is making this excuse about. And they should be treated with more respect and listened to."

Green MLA Peter Bevan-Baker said, "I'm ashamed that the province who welcomed these folks here had a set of rules — legitimate, perfectly reasonable rules — laid out to which all of these people complied fully."

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Facing deportation from Canada, Indian students to go on full hunger strike

"Then, without any warning, [the government] changed those rules to the point now where those whose work permits are expiring, their choices are very limited."

Source: India Today

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