No vandalism at Bhagavad Gita Park, says Canada, day after India's ‘hate crime' note

By | Edited by Sohini Goswami
Oct 03, 2022 06:32 PM IST

Hours after the Indian High Commission released a statement condemning the alleged vandalism at the Brampton park, Canadian authorities said that the reported sign was ‘temporary’ and was to be replaced with a ‘permanent’ signboard.

Canadian authorities have denied reports claiming vandalism at the recently unveiled 'Shri Bhagavad Gita' park in Brampton city, stating that the signboard in question was left blank during renovation work. The clarification came hours after India condemned the alleged incident, demanding prompt action by the city's administration.

Signboard at the Shri Bhagvad Gita Park in Brampton, Canada, which was allegedly vandalised. (Twitter/@HCI_Ottawa)
Signboard at the Shri Bhagvad Gita Park in Brampton, Canada, which was allegedly vandalised. (Twitter/@HCI_Ottawa)

The park – previously called Troyers Park – was renamed to honour the Indian community in the region by paying tribute to the Hindu religious scripture. Brampton is a city in the Canadian province of Ontario.

“There was no evidence of vandalism to the permanent sign or any park structure,” said Peel regional police in a tweet. “Permanent sign is still waiting for the lettering to be applied and it was a temporary park sign used in the park naming ceremony.”

“Following yesterday’s reports of vandalism of the recently unveiled Shri Bhagavad Gita Park, we took swift action to investigate further… The reported blank sign was installed by the builder as a placeholder until the permanent Shri Bhagavad Gita Park sign can be replaced tomorrow,” Brampton mayor Patrick Brown tweeted on Sunday night.

He thanked the Indian community for flagging the issue. “This is not a usual process as we never remove a sign unless damaged or its name changes,” Brown said, highlighting that Brampton was “a safe and inclusive place to call home”.

The Indian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, had – based on reports of vandalism – taken cognisance and urged the authorities to take action against the perpetrators.

Last month, India had issued an advisory to its citizens in Canada citing a “sharp increase in incidents of hate crime, sectarian violence, and anti-India activities”.

On September 15, a prominent Hindu temple in the country – BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir – was reportedly defaced by “Canadian Khalistani extremists” with anti-India graffiti in an apparent hate crime.

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