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Sikh Student Subjected to Beer and Pepper Spray Attack in Canada, Second Incident This Year; India Urges Swift Action

September 16, 2023

In yet another case of hate crime in Canada against Sikhs, a 17-year-old high school student was assaulted at a bus stop after an altercation with another teenager in Canada’s British Columbia province.

The student was reportedly attacked with beer of beer or pepper spray by another teenage student after exiting a public transit bus on his way home on September 11.

Taking cognisance of the matter, the Consulate General of India in Vancouver on the X platform wrote, “cgivancouver strongly condemns assault on an Indian national in Kelowna and requests Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action against the perpetrators”.

Meanwhile, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in a statement said, “On September 11th, 2023, just before 4:00 pm, Kelowna RCMP were dispatched to a pepper spray incident at the intersection of Rutland Rd S and Robson Rd E. Officers determined a 17-year old Sikh student was either bear or pepper sprayed by another teenaged male after exiting a public transit bus on his way home.”

It said there was an altercation on the bus before the beer spray incident which resulted in those involved being directed off the bus. Police said that several witness statements have been obtained and the teenage suspect has been identified.

“After exiting the bus, a second incident occurred where the suspect male deployed bear spray on the victim,” it said.

The statement further said, “Bystanders called the police who attended and are actively investigating this incident. Several witness statements have been obtained and the teenage suspect in this incident has already been identified.”

Kelowna City Councillor Mohini Singh said that the student had only been in the city for around five months and spoke little English.

She termed the attack “totally unacceptable.” She said that the student is in a “state of shock” and is “absolutely traumatized.”

It’s the second attack on a Sikh student in the central Interior city this year. Earlier in March, a 21-year-old Sikh student from India, Gagandeep Singh, was attacked in British Columbia province by a group of unknown men who ripped off his turban and dragged him across the sidewalk by his hair.

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