Ex-envoy blames "Khalistani terrorists" for vandalisation of Hindu sites in Canada
Toronto: Former Indian Deputy Envoy to Canada Niraj Srivastava on Monday blamed "Khalistani terrorists" for the vandalisation of Shri Bhagavad Gita Park sign in Canada's Brampton on Saturday, saying that such incidents have happened in the past too.
"This is not the first time such a hate crime has occurred in Canada. On September 15, the Swaminarayan temple in Toronto was also defaced and Khalistan slogans and graffiti were painted. The government of India had strongly requested Canada to take action to stop these crimes and protect the Hindus and their places of worship in Canada. So, it appears to me that this time also this is the work of Khalistani terrorists," said the former deputy envoy. "I hope that the government of Canada takes steps against them and finds out the culprits, punishes them and makes sure that such hate crimes don't repeat in future", Srivastava added.
The remarks of the former deputy envoy come as on Sunday the Indian High Commission in Canada condemned the vandalism of the Bhagvad Gita Park in Toronto and demanded a probe into the matter.
"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", the High Commission of India in Canada tweeted.
The Bhagvad Gita Park sign was vandalized on Saturday. Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown on Sunday confirmed the vandalism at the park and said that Canada has "zero tolerance" for such attacks.
"We are aware that the recently unveiled Shri Bhagavad Gita Park sign has been vandalized. We have zero tolerance for this. We have flagged Peel Regional Police for further investigation. Our Parks department is working to resolve and correct the sign as soon as possible," Brown tweeted.
Earlier, on September 15, some unknown miscreants vandalised and painted anti-India slogans on the walls of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan (BAPS) temple in Canada
The Indian High Commission in Ottawa had then expressed concern over the incident and asked the Canadian authorities to investigate the matter.
"Strongly condemn the defacing of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto with anti-India graffiti. We have requested Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action against the perpetrators." tweeted the High Commission of India in Ottawa, Canada.
Incidentally, India had on September 23 issued an advisory for Indian nationals and students in Canada to remain vigilant amid increasing incidents of crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities in the country.
"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 perpetrators of these crimes have not been brought to justice so far in Canada," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement posted on Twitter.
"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. (ANI)