No vandalism in Bhagavad Gita Park, Canada says day after India’s ‘hate crime’ memo

Canadian authorities have denied reports alleging vandalism at the recently unveiled ‘Shri Bhagavad Gita’ Park in Brampton City, stating that the relevant signboard was left blank during renovation work. The clarification came hours after India condemned the alleged incident and demanded prompt action from the city government.

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

“There was no evidence of vandalism to the permanent sign or any park structure,” Peel Regional Police said in a tweet. “The permanent sign is still waiting for the lettering to be applied, and it was a temporary park sign used in the park’s 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- board may be replaced tomorrow,” Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown tweeted Sunday night.

He thanked the Indian community for pointing out the matter. “This is not a common process, as we never remove a sign unless it is damaged or changes its name,” Brown said, stressing that Brampton was “a safe and inclusive place to call home”.

The Indian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, took cognizance of reports of vandalism and urged authorities to take action against the perpetrators.

Last month, India issued an advisory to its citizens in Canada, reporting a “strong increase in incidents of hate crime, sectarian violence and anti-Indian activity”.

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

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