Man arrested, charged over violence during Tiranga-Maple rally in Canada
- The rally was organised to celebrate the imminent arrival of India-made COVID-19 vaccines in Canada and featured nearly 350 cars bearing both the Indian and Canadian flags
A 27-year-old man has been arrested and charged with assault during the violence that broke out during a Tiranga-Maple Car Rally organised by the Indo-Canadian community on February 28. The police did not identify the person but said he is from Brampton in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
“On Sunday, February 28, 2021, at approximately 4:00 pm, the victim, a 40-year-old woman from Brampton, was in the area of Mississauga Road and Queen Street with her husband driving in a rally. During this time, a man stepped in front of the vehicle. The victim exited her vehicle, there was an altercation, and she was assaulted. She did not sustain any injuries,” a police statement said.
The rally was organised to celebrate the imminent arrival of India-made Covid-19 vaccines in Canada and featured nearly 350 cars bearing both the Indian and Canadian flags. It was marred by incidents of violence. Some of the protestors involved in the violence could be seen in videos waving Khalistan flags.
The violence came as Indo-Canadians have reported intimidation by extremist elements for holding pro-India views amid ongoing protests in India over the three farm laws. HT has been reporting since February 8 that they have been targeted for either being perceived as pro-India or supporting the agricultural legislation even as the protests against the laws in Canada has been allegedly hijacked by pro-Khalistan groups.
Organisers of the rally said at least 15 complaints related to violence, threats, intimidation, and harassment have been lodged with the police.
One organiser, who did not want to be named due to fears of safety, said they expected more arrests in the days ahead as the police investigations continued. “We have been following up with Peel Police, been in constant touch with detectives and they are taking matters very seriously. We encourage anyone affected to file a complaint,” he said. He added many participants had been “very traumatised” by developments on that day.
In a statement on Thursday, Peel regional police chief Nishan Duraiappah said the service was aware of video footage that has been widely shared on social media. "It captures a physical altercation and other concerning behaviour during a protest/car rally.... We are currently investigating those incidents.” He added there will be no tolerance for violence or criminality, and all reported incidents will be investigated, and those involved may be charged. "This has been and will continue to be our service’s approach in support of the well-being and safety of our community.”