Protest Photos by Tejinder Singh, Surrey
Under pressure from Pro-Khalistan protestors forced organisers to cancel event being hosted to welcome India High Commissioner to Canada
Surrey (Canada), March 20, 2023:
A group of Sikhs raising Pro-Khalistan slogans obstructed and forced the organisers to cancel the dinner reception being organised to welcome India High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma on March 19 at Taj Park Convention Centre in Surrey.
Surrey Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) miserably failed to control the protesters , some of them wielding swords, gathered in front of the Convention Centre. The organsiers of the vent openly blamed RCMP for forcing them to cancel the function by not taking action against the uncontroled protesters.
The event was being organised by Friends of Canada & India Foundation led by Maninder Singh Gill, owner of Radio India, Canada. The protesters were reportedly raising slogans against the Indian and Punjab government on the issue of Punjab police’s operation on Amritpal Singh.
Such protests were also staged in front of Indian High Commissions and Embassies at other places also.
The Foundation in a statement said that it was brazen lawlessness and hooliganism played by the protesters with a big number of Khalistani flags in their hands. The statement blamed the Surrey Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) not only to control the mob but just remaining a mute spectator. RCMP did not allow any supporters of the organising committee to enter the venue and help the organisers who feared for their lives and were holed up for 4-5 hours.
The organisers demanded a high-level inquiry into the event, the RCMP should ensure that those hooligans who have breached the law are punished.
Maninder Gill, president of the Foundation, said, "Filthy abuses were hurled on people who tried to enter, they were assaulted, shoved and slapped all in the name of “peaceful” protests. This is a shame if even the High Commissioner cannot be protected in this country.”
The full text of the statement is as under:
Friends of India and Canada organised a function today to honour the Indian High-commissioner Sh. Sanjay Verma. The function venue was the Taj Park Convention Centre.
There were reports a day before that Khalistani sympathisers were going to hold a protest at the event’s venue. The authorities were intimated about the possible law and order situation.
Today the organising committee reached the venue, around 4 p.m the so called protestors reached the venue and blocked the front entrance. They did not allow anyone to enter the venue , which was against the law as it was a private event on a private premises.
There were daylight attacks on people who tried to enter the event premises, even media persons were not spared. Filthy abuses were hurled on people who tried to enter, they were assaulted, shoved and slapped all in the name of “ peaceful” protests. Interestingly all of this happened in the presence of RCMP officers , who were mute witnesses to this lawlessness. The Khalistani hooligans and goons who had covered their faces to avoid being recognised , forcefully entered the main hall of the banquet hall and assaulted the organisers of the event. Police were called in. The RCMP played a questionable role in this episode, they were unable to ensure the peaceful conduct of the event which was being hosted in the honour of the High Commissioner of India. The attendees were assaulted and beaten up in the RCMP’s presence, and demonstrators were allowed to enter the hall to attack the organisers, but the RCMP was just a mute spectator. RCMP did not allow any supporters of the organising committee to enter the venue and help the organisers who feared for their lives and were holed up for 4-5 hours.
The Khalistanis were protesting against the so-called human rights violations in Punjab, but what about the Charter rights of the people who wanted to organise a peaceful community event? What about their freedom of movement and freedom of speech and expression? There is an atmosphere of fear in the Indo-Canadian community in Surrey. Friends of Canada and India Foundation demands a high level inquiry into the event, the RCMP should ensure that those hooligans who have breached the law are punished.