The recent vandalism incident of a signboard named after the Bhagavad Gita in Canada is one of many in recent days. Previously known as Troyers Park, the Shri Bhagavad Gita Park was recently unveiled in Brampton with its new name.
Earlier on September 15, a prominent Hindu temple — BAPS Swaminarayan temple — in Toronto, Canada was defaced with anti-India graffiti.
The Indian High Commission had condemned both these incidents and said that it had requested the Canadian authorities to take prompt action against the perpetrators.
Here is a list of a few other similar incidents that happened earlier this year:
Richmond Hill incident: In July, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a Vishnu Temple in the Richmond Hill neighbourhood of Canada was desecrated. It had been at the site for nearly 30 years without any issues, said the chairman of the temple. The Indian Consulate in Toronto said that it had approached the Canadian authorities for an investigation into the issue.
Radio host attacked: Joti Singh Mann, a Punjabi radio host based in Brampton, was attacked by three people in August this year. They hacked at him with axes and a machete while he was heading for work, resulting in Mann losing his big toe and suffering from long-term hand injuries.
Toronto student shot dead: Kartik Vasudev, a 21-year-old student from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, was shot dead in Toronto as he stepped out of a metro station to hail a bus on April 7. The Canadian police arrested a 39-year-old man in connection with the case later.
Kapurthala girl killed: Harmandeep Kaur, a 25-year-old girl from Kapurthala, died in March after being attacked by a Canadian national. She was allegedly hit on the head with a rod. Kaur had been working as a private security guard after completing her studies in Canada.
Deepak Punj attacked: An Indo-Canadian media person Deepak Punj was attacked in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in February. He was attacked by 3 people while he was heading to work.
MEA issues advisory
Taking note of these increasing crimes, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued an advisory on September 23 for Indian nationals and students in Canada.
The advisory read: “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 advisory had also come days after media reports of a “Khalistan referendum” in Canada. In response, the official spokesperson of the MEA Arindam Bagchi had said that it was a “farcical exercise” held by “extremist and radical elements”.