Brampton's Sikh School vandalized by hate graffiti
Peel police are probing after the back wall of the Khalsa Community School on Maitland Street, near Williams Parkway and Bramalea Road in Brampton was spray-painted with swastikas and the letters "KKK".india Updated: Jul 19, 2012 12:17 IST
Peel police are probing after the back wall of the Khalsa Community School on Maitland Street, near Williams Parkway and Bramalea Road in Brampton was spray-painted with swastikas and the letters "KKK".
According to information available here, the graffiti was noticed on July 10 morning and the police were called in. The security cameras installed at the school premises reportedly captured three people near the gymnasium wall. The police are reviewing the video footage from the cameras.
School administrator Ripsodhak Singh Grewal said, "I'm not angry at all, I'm just saddened." "I would simply sit down with them and say where do you see the difference, why are you doing this?" Peel Police Const. George Tudos said, "Any type of vandalism like this when it targets the community is disturbing," said and added "We take this behaviour seriously and we will do what we can and try to resolve it."
If caught the suspects could face mischief and hate crime charges.
Meanwhile, the hate-crime vandalism attracted widespread criticism from different quarters.
Condemning the incident, the World Sikh Organization of Canada's Ranjit Singh Dulay said, "While we are deeply saddened by the vandalism of the Brampton Khalsa School, we're not surprised by it.
There have been several incidents of vandalism against the Sikh community across Canada and even recent reports of racist attacks against members of the community.
Sikhs have been in Canada well over 100 years and also form an important part of the community in Peel. It's sad that such acts of intolerance still take place but we're sure they are not representative of the community at large."
"WSO had previously expressed concern over increased racist hostility against the Canadian Sikh community in the wake of news stories portraying Sikhs as extremists."
Expressing concern over the incident, Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, says, "Vandalism is an appalling criminal act that harms both its target and the community as a whole. Acts of vandalism aimed at the faith or cultural background of a specific group of people are especially deplorable."
"The Government of Canada condemns the cowardly attack on the Khalsa Community School in Brampton which serves the large Sikh community in Ontario's Peel Region."
Ontario's minister of Citizenship and Immigration Charles Sousa also issued a statement, saying "I am deeply disappointed by the reprehensible act of vandalism perpetrated at Khalsa Community School in Brampton. All Ontarians have an equal right to live in our province, raise their family and start a successful business, free from discrimination.
Andrea Horwath, leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party said: "Ontario is home to families of countless ethnicities and faiths. Racism toward the students of the Khalsa Community School, or students in any school across the province, is unacceptable and has no place in Ontario.
People across Ontario have the right to go to school, practice their faith, and engage with their community free from discrimination or fear."
Similarly, community leader and party's Bramalea-Gore-Malton MPP Jagmeet Singh, while condemning the hate crime, said, "I am deeply concerned by the recent hate-motivated acts of vandalism. These acts target the most vulnerable in our society, young children, while vandalizing one of the most precious institutions we have in our community, centers of education.
First Published: Jul 19, 2012 12:14 IST