As India on Sunday condemned the vandalism of a sign board at a park in Canada’s Brampton that has been named after the Bhagavad Gita, the Mayor of the town clarified saying that the cops had investigated the matter and it was just a matter of “maintenance and reprinting work”.
The park, previously known as Troyers Park, was recently unveiled with the new name.
The High Commission of India in Canada, in a tweet, said, “We condemn the hate crime at the Shri Bhagvad Gita Park in Brampton. We urge Canadian authorities & @PeelPolice to investigate and take prompt action on the perpetrators.”
We condemn the hate crime at the Shri Bhagvad Gita Park in Brampton. We urge Canadian authorities & @PeelPolice to investigate and take prompt action on the perpetrators @MEAIndia @cgivancouver @IndiainToronto pic.twitter.com/mIn4LAZA55
— India in Canada (@HCI_Ottawa) October 2, 2022
However, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, was quick to clarify, saying: “Following yesterday’s reports of vandalism of the recently unveiled Shri Bhagavad Gita Park, we took swift action to investigate further. We learned that the reported blank sign was installed by the builder as a placeholder until the permanent Shri Bhagavad Gita Park sign can be replaced tomorrow.”
— Patrick Brown (@patrickbrownont) October 2, 2022
Brown also thanked the Indian community for flagging the issue and added, “We are pleased to learn of this outcome. We thank the community for bringing this to our attention, and ensuring Brampton is a safe and inclusive place to call home.”
From @CityBrampton Community Services and Communications Department on the confusion over resident complaints about Gita Park sign.
“We learned that the sign was damaged during the original install & a city staff member brought it back for unplanned maintenance & to reprint.” https://t.co/hkfmSFF1Ui
— Patrick Brown (@patrickbrownont) October 3, 2022
Earlier, the Brampton Mayor, ahead of investigating the issue, 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 on Sunday.
This comes after a prominent Hindu temple, BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, was defaced by “Canadian Khalistani extremists” with anti-India graffiti in an apparent hate crime case on September 15.
Last month, India also issued an advisory to its citizens in Canada citing a “sharp increase in incidents of hate crime, sectarian violence, and anti-India activities”.
Advisory for Indian Nationals and Students from India in Canadahttps://t.co/dOrqyY7FgN pic.twitter.com/M0TDfTgvrG
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) September 23, 2022
The advisory said: “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.”
Indians have been moving to Canada for over a century, and the country has a sizable Indian-origin population, making up among the world’s largest Indian diasporas. Canada is a preferred destination for higher education for many Indian students today, with around 60,000 students choosing to go to the country in the first half of 2022, second only to the US.