July 10, 2024

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Temple Desecrated with Anti-India Graffiti in Canada Amid Khalistan Referendum Controversy and SFJ Threats

In the town of Surrey, located in British Columbia, Canada, an unfortunate incident occurred at the Shri Mata Bhameshwari Durga temple. The temple was desecrated with graffiti that conveyed anti-India sentiments and expressed support for the Khalistan movement. This incident took place just one day before the secessionist group known as Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) threatened to “lock down” India’s Consulate in Vancouver.

The incident was brought to public attention on Thursday morning when it was reported by the Surrey detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The temple management acted promptly, and the graffiti was removed.

Prior to this act of vandalism, India’s high commission in Ottawa had already expressed concerns to Canada’s foreign ministry, Global Affairs Canada, regarding perceived threats to its diplomatic premises in Vancouver. SFJ had issued a call for pro-Khalistan elements to “lock down” the Vancouver Consulate on a specific date.

The motivation for this call to action by SFJ stemmed from the enforced cancellation of the Khalistan Referendum, originally scheduled to take place on September 10 at a school in Surrey. The cancellation of the referendum was prompted by concerns raised over promotional materials associated with the event, particularly those featuring an image of an AK-47 machine gun.

Canadian authorities responded by withdrawing their permission to conduct the referendum at a public school, citing the controversial imagery as a reason for their decision.

These events have raised concerns and tensions within the region, underscoring the complex issues surrounding separatist movements and diplomatic relations in Canada. The incident at the temple reflects the ongoing debate and activism surrounding the Khalistan movement within the Sikh diaspora in Canada and its impact on India-Canada relations.