Canada school cancels permission for ‘Khalistan Referendum’ citing AK-47 posters | World News - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Canada school cancels permission for ‘Khalistan Referendum’ citing AK-47 posters

Sep 04, 2023 01:41 PM IST

Canadian authorities have withdrawn permission for the organisers of the Khalistan Referendum to hold voting at a public school after concerns were raised over promotional materials featuring an AK-47 machine gun. The event was scheduled for 10 September in Surrey, British Columbia. The Surrey District School Board cancelled the rental agreement due to a violation of their policies. The referendum seeks to establish an independent Sikh state in Punjab. India has expressed its displeasure over the use of Canadian territory for the separatist referendum.

The organisers of the so-called Khalistan Referendum received a jolt on Sunday as Canadian authorities withdrew their permission to hold voting at a public school after concerns were raised over their promotional materials that featured the image of an AK-47 machine gun.

The poster for the referendum had featured both an AK-47 machine gun as well as a kirpan, alongside the image of the school. (Representative Image)
The poster for the referendum had featured both an AK-47 machine gun as well as a kirpan, alongside the image of the school. (Representative Image)

The referendum was scheduled for September 10 at the Tamanawis Secondary School in the town of Surrey in British Columbia.

However, on Sunday, a spokesperson for the Surrey District School Board said, in a release, that they had cancelled a community rental of one of their schools due to a violation of their rental agreement.

The poster for the referendum had featured both an AK-47 machine gun as well as a kirpan, alongside the image of the school.

“Despite repeated attempts to address the issue, the event organizers failed to remove these concerning images, and materials continued to be posted throughout Surrey and on social media,” the release noted.

It said the decision had been communicated to the event organisers. “As a school district, our primary mission is to provide quality education and support to our students and ensure a safe environment for our school communities. Our agreements, policies and guidelines, including those for rentals, support our district in creating a safe environment for our community. Anyone renting our facilities must adhere to this,” the statement added.

Maninder Gill, president of the Surrey-based Friends of Canada and India Foundation “welcomed the decision” on behalf of his organisation.

Earlier in the past week, concerned Indo-Canadians, upset over the referendum and a government school being used for the purpose, complained to the school board, that there were posters of Talwinder Singh Parmar pasted all around the school premises. Parmar is considered the mastermind of the terrorist bombing of Air India flight 182, the Kanishka, which claimed 329 lives on June 23, 1985.

The letter from Concerned Residents of Surrey also pointed out the image of the AK-47. “The School Board, City of Surrey and Provincial Government of BC is answerable to the parents for this day light promotion of gun violence,” it said.

The issues raised in the letter were out to Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke during an interview with the outlet Surrey Talk Radio on Saturday. Host Ivan Scott said she “clarified that the city does not and has never endorsed the Khalistani Movement or referendum activities planned for Tamanawis Secondary School or any other Surrey-controlled premises. Surrey City Council has no legal say in how Surrey School District uses school premises. She also strongly condemned the posters depicting an AK-47 automatic weapon as absolutely unacceptable.”

India had already reiterated its displeasure over Canadian territory being used for the separatist referendum in a formal communication to Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry.

While another date for the referendum has not been announced, Sikhs for Justice or SFJ general counsel Gurpatwant Pannun called for a pro-Khalistan element to “lock down” India’s Consulate in Vancouver on September 8.

Get World Cup ready with Crickit! From live scores to match stats, catch all the action here. Explore now!

See more

Get Current Updates on World News, US News , Hollywood News , Anime and Top Headlines from around the world.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, June 17, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On