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India Condemns 'Hate Crime' at Canada Park; 'No Evidence of Vandalism', Say Mayor, Cops

A blank sign kept as a place-holder for the final signpost appeared to have been construed as vandalism at the Shri Bhagavad Gita Park in Brampton.

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New Delhi: Shortly after India condemned alleged “hate crime” at the recently unveiled ‘Shri Bhagavad Gita’ Park in Canada’s Brampton city, the city’s mayor and local police tweeted that there was no evidence that vandalism had taken place.

They said a blank sign had been installed as a place-holder for the final signpost – which some appeared to construe as vandalism.

The park, previously called Troyers Park, was renamed Shri Bhagavad Gita Park and unveiled on September 28.

“We condemn the hate crime at the Shri Bhagvad Gita Park in Brampton. We urge Canadian authorities & @PeelPolice to investigate and take prompt action on the perpetrators,” the High Commission of India in Canada tweeted.

 

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown initially tweeted that Canada has “zero tolerance” for such acts.

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

The Peel Regional Police then tweeted that there was no evidence of vandalism and that the permanent sign was awaiting lettering.

Mayor Brown then tweeted that the city’s Community Services and Communications Department had learned that the original sign was damaged and was brought back from the site for “unplanned maintenance and to reprint.”

While the repairs were taking place, according to civic authorities, a blank sign was left up.

“This is not usual process as we never remove a sign unless damaged or its name changes,” the mayor tweeted, quoting the department.

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

Last month, India issued an advisory to its citizens in Canada warning of increased hate crimes.