Indian High Commission in Canada terms vandalism of Bhagvad Gita park in Toronto a “Hate crime”, demands probe

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Toronto, October 2: Calling it a “hate crime”, the Indian High Commission in Canada condemned the vandalism of the Bhagavad Gita park in Toronto and demanded a probe into the matter.

The development comes as a recently unveiled Shri Bhagavad Gita Park sign was vandalized in Canada’s city of Brampton on the outskirts of Toronto, on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.

Taking note of the incident, the Indian High Commission in Canada condemned the “hate crime” and exhorted Canadian authorities to investigate the matter and take immediate action. It tweeted, “We condemn the hate crime at the Shri Bhagvad Gita Park in Brampton. We urge Canadian authorities & Peel Regional Police to investigate and take prompt action on the perpetrators.”

Mayor of Brampton Patrick Brown, celebrating with Indo-Canadians for Navratri. Oct. 1, 2022. Photo: Twitter @patrickbrownont
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Confirming the news, the Mayor of Brampton, Patrick Brown tweeted, “We are aware that the recently unveiled Shri Bhagavad Gita Park sign has been vandalized. We have zero tolerance for this. We have flagged this to Peel Regional Police for further investigation. Our Parks department is working to resolve and correct the sign as soon as possible.”

On October 1, Patrick Brown, Councillors, and members of the community gathered to unveil the renaming of Brampton’s Troyers Park to Shri Bhagavad Gita Park. Brampton is a “Mosaic” and this renaming commemorates the Hindu community and all they contribute to the city, the City of Brampton said.

Incidentally, India had on September 23, issued an advisory for Indian nationals and students in Canada to remain vigilant amid increasing incidents of crimes and anti-India activities in the country. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Indian missions in Canada have taken up these incidents with the Canadian authorities and requested them to probe these crimes.

“There has been a sharp increase in incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence, and anti-India activities in Canada. The Ministry of External Affairs and our High Commission/Consulates General in Canada have taken up these incidents with the Canadian authorities and requested them to investigate the said crimes and take appropriate action,” the MEA said in a statement.

The statement also stressed that “the perpetrators of these crimes have not been brought to justice so far in Canada.” “In view of the increasing incidences of crimes as described above, Indian nationals and students from India in Canada and those proceeding to Canada for travel/education are advised to exercise due caution and remain vigilant,” the statement added.

The advisory also said Indian nationals and students from India in Canada may also register with the High Commission of India in Ottawa or the Consulates General of India in Toronto and Vancouver through their respective websites, or the MADAD portal madad.gov.in.

“Registration would enable the High Commission and the Consulates General to better connect with Indian citizens in Canada in the event of any requirement or emergency,” the advisory said. This advisory came after India termed the so-called Khalistan referendum conducted by separatist groups as a “farcical exercise”.

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