Canada assault case: India condemns assault on Sikh student in Canada, calls for action
Sikh student assault case in Canada: The Consulate General of India in Vancouver strongly condemned the unsettling incident that has been suspected to be a hate crime case wherein 17-year-old Sikh student was either “beer or pepper sprayed” by another teenage student in Canada’s British Columbia province.
Condemning the incident, the Indian Consulate also called for the prompt action against the perpetrators.
The incident took place on September 11, when 17-year-old Sikh student was on his way to home when he was allegedly subjected to physical assault at the intersection of Rutland Rd S and Robson Rd E in Canada's British Columbia.
The Consulate General of India in Vancouver also shared the post on ‘X’ handle (former Twitter) and stated, "@cgivancouver strongly condemns assault on an Indian national in Kelowna and requests Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action against the perpetrators."
@cgivancouver strongly condemns assault on an Indian national in Kelowna and requests Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action against the perpetrators. @HCI_Ottawa @MEAIndia — India in Vancouver (@cgivancouver) September 15, 2023
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police issued a statement, saying, "On September 11th, 2023, just before 4:00pm, Kelowna RCMP were dispatched to a pepper spray incident at the intersection of Rutland Rd S and Robson Rd E. Officers determined a 17-year old Sikh student was either bear or pepper sprayed by another teenaged male after exiting a public transit bus on his way home."
Adding additional details to the incident, police said that several witness statements have been obtained and the teenaged suspect has been identified.
“After exiting the bus, a second incident occurred where the suspect male deployed bear spray on the victim," it said.
According to the statement, investigators are still collecting CCTV evidence and other relevant information including taking steps to determine the motivation behind crime.
Meanwhile, City Councillor Mohini Singh said that the student had only been in the city for around five months and spoke little English.
She termed the attack "totally unacceptable." She said that the student is in a "state of shock" and is "absolutely traumatized."
"He loves going to school. He has a great rapport with his teachers. No problem there," she said. "He is absolutely traumatized. He's in a state of shock," she added.
This is the second attack on Sikh youth on public transit in the city this year. Earlier on March 17, a young Indian Sikh student Gagandeep Singh was also attacked by a group of unidentified individuals that resulted in his turban being forcibly removed, and he was dragged along the sidewalk by his hair.
- With inputs from agencies