Hindu park vandalised, police investigate possible hate crime in Brampton


Published July 17, 2023 at 10:34 am

The city is speaking out and police are investigating after yet another case of vandalism appearing to target members of Brampton’s Indian community.

Late last week pictures began surfacing on social media of the sign at Brampton’s Shri Bhagavad Gita Park which had been spray painted with “Modi is a terrorist” in large red letters, seemingly referring to Indian President Narendra Modi.

The park was christened by the city last September in honour of Gita – a 700-verse Hindu holy scripture originating from India – and features Hindu statues.

The City of Brampton spoke out about the vandalism on Friday, calling it an act of hate that “will not be tolerated,” and that the incident has been reported to Peel Regional Police.

“The City is deeply disappointed to learn of the recent act of vandalism targeting a park sign, which is an attack on a faith community,” the city said in a statement on Friday (July 14). “At the City of Brampton, we stand united against such acts of intolerance and discrimination. We proudly uphold our values of diversity, inclusivity, and respect for all and these acts of hate will not be tolerated.”

Peel police confirmed there is an active investigation into the vandalism at Gita Park and say it is being treated as a hate crime.

The incident is the second time the park has made headlines since it opened. Back in October, there were allegations of vandalism at Gita Park after a blank sign was mistaken for supposed vandalism.

And while the earlier incident was attributed to a mix-up, there have been multiple cases of vandalism and damage to places of worship and culturally-significant landmarks in both Brampton and Mississauga in recent months.

Just last week priests in Brampton called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take action against what they call “anti-India” and “anti-Hindu” activities after signs targeting members of India’s High Commissioner to Ottawa were placed in front of their temple.

A parade float in Brampton recreating the assassination of Indira Gandhi last month was also called out by India for the “glorification of violence” and condemned by Mayor Patrick Brown, the Ram Mandir in Mississauga has also been targeted with hateful graffiti, and temple priests at Shri Gauri Shankar Mandir on Queen Street in Brampton found hateful graffiti with the word “Khalistan” written on the temple, which is connected to a Sikh separatist movement seeking to create a homeland for Sikhs.

The controversial referendum has caused tensions and led to incidents of Khalistan supporters clashing with those who oppose the movement in Brampton.

Peel Regional Police confirmed that there is an active investigation into the vandalism at Gita Park and say it is being treated as a “hate-motivated” incident.

Investigators are urging anyone with information on this incident to contact police at 905-453-3311 ext 2233.

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