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Canada’s newly unveiled Shri Bhagavad Gita Park vandalised; Mayor orders probe


A recently unveiled Shri Bhagavad Gita Park sign was vandalized in Canada’s Brampton, Mayor Patrick Brown confirmed the news on 1 October.

The Mayor condemned the incident and said that we have zero tolerance for this.

He added that the incident was flagged to the Peel Regional Police for further investigation.

In a tweet, the Mayor wrote, “We are aware that the recently unveiled Shri Bhagavad Gita Park sign has been vandalized. We have zero tolerance for this. We have flagged to Peel Regional Police for further investigation. Our Parks department is working to resolve and correct the sign as soon as possible.”

The park was recently unveiled on 28 September. It was previously called as Troyers Park and was later renamed as Shri Bhagavad Gita Park. 

In a tweet, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said, “Today, the @CityBrampton unveiled the renaming of Brampton’s Troyers Park to Shri Bhagavad Gita Park. Brampton is a Mosaic, and this renaming commemorates the Hindu community and all they contribute to our City. We celebrate all cultures and all faiths in our City.”

The park is spread over 3.75 acres, will have sculptures of Lord Krishna and Arjuna on a chariot and some other Hindu deities.

Lauding the initiative, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the park will help spread the Bhagavad Gita’s eternal message of universal brotherhood, love and harmony. According to the Haryana government statement, the park is probably the only one outside of India to be named after the Bhagavad Gita.

With seeing increasing sharp increase in incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities in Canada, the Indian government had advised its nationals in Canada and those travelling to that country to exercise due caution and remain vigilant.

In an advisory, the Ministry of External Affairs also said the High Commission/Consulates General in Canada have taken up these incidents with the Canadian authorities and requested them to investigate these crimes and take appropriate action.

The perpetrators of these crimes have not been brought to justice so far in Canada, the MEA said.

“In view of the increasing incidents of crimes as described above, Indian nationals and students from India in Canada and those proceeding to Canada for travel or education are advised to exercise due caution and remain vigilant”, the advisory said.

Indian nationals and students from India in Canada may also register with the High Commission of India in Ottawa or the Consulates General of India in Toronto and Vancouver through their respective websites, or the MADAD portal, the ministry had said.

The advisory came a after India reacted sharply to the “so-called Khalistan referendum” in Canada, saying it was “deeply objectionable” that such a “politically motivated” activity by extremist elements was allowed to take place in a friendly country.

India has taken up the matter with Canadian authorities through diplomatic channels and would continue to press Canada in this regard, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said when asked about the referendum issue.

“You are all aware of the violence in this regard,” Bagchi had said and described the “so-called Khalistan referendum” as a “farcical exercise”.

The government of Canada has reiterated they respect the sovereignty and integrity of India and that they will not recognise the so-called referendum that has taken place in that country, he added.

Prior to that, unknown miscreants vandalised and painted anti-India slogans on the walls of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan (BAPS) temple in Canada. The Indian High Commission in Canada had condemned the incident and also raised the issue with the Canadian authorities to investigate and take prompt action against the perpetrators.

A video of the incident went viral on social media, where Khalistani slogans were seen scribbled on the walls of the temple.

The mayor of Brampton, Patrick Brown expressed disappointment over the incident, “Very disappointed to hear of the vandalism that occurred at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto. This type of hate has no place in the GTA or Canada. Let’s hope those criminals responsible are brought to justice quickly,” he tweeted.

Indian-origin Member of Parliament of Canada, Chandra Arya said that the event is not the only such incident but Hindu temples have been targeted in the recent past by such events.

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