Vandalism of Sikh leader’s poster, Hindu temple triggers tension in Toronto

In Toronto, Canada, Khalistan supporters protested against the attack on a respected Khalistan leader. Reporter’s photos
  • Toronto shakes after attack on Hindu temple
  • In Toronto, Sikh activists protested outside the Indian High Court.
  • Indo-Canadian man charged with criminal mischief for vandalism.

TORONTO: Tensions are running high within the Indian community in Canada after the BAPS Swaminarayan temple in Toronto was vandalized with anti-India and pro-Khalistan slogans written on the entrance before September 18. Khalistan Referendum Voting that is set to attract tens of thousands of Sikhs.

The Indian government, while condemning the vandalism of the temple, has demanded Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take action against the suspected Khalistani activists.

“We strongly condemn the defacement of BAPS Swaminarayan Temple Toronto with anti-India graffiti. Request the Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take immediate action against the culprits,” the Indian High Commission tweeted.

The vandalism incident came after the local police announced that they had arrested an Indo-Canadian man. to tear Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s banner in Caledon, Ontario prior to the September 18 Khalistan referendum.

The BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Toronto was vandalized with anti-India and pro-Khalistan slogans.
The BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Toronto was vandalized with anti-India and pro-Khalistan slogans.

Thirty-eight years after he was killed in ‘Operation Blue Star’ in Amritsar, India, nationalist Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale is regarded by millions of Sikhs as a martyr, saint and icon of the Khalistan movement. Tensions are believed to have risen in the Indian community in Canada after Sikhs protested the attack on a revered Sikh leader.

Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), the organization behind the Khalistan Referendum Campaign, has plastered Malton, Ontario, with Khalistan posters featuring large images of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale for the Canadian phase of the Khalistan Referendum. are dedicated.

The SFJ has not commented on the pace of the attacks, but local Sikh campaigners have described it as a hate crime against Sikhs and their movement.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has confirmed that it has charged an Indo-Canadian man with criminal mischief for vandalism.

After the vandalism, more than 500 Sikh activists gathered outside the Indian consulate in Toronto and raised slogans against the Indian government and in favor of Khalistan.

Carrying banners of Khalistan, the Sikh activists demanded the Indian authorities to stop the politics of partition and accept the demands of the Sikhs.

On Monday, local Sikhs in large numbers offered mass prayers for the success of the Khalistan referendum at the local gurdwara.

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