A Khalistan referendum event in Canada, scheduled for September 10 at Tamanawis Secondary School in Surrey town of British Columbia Canada, has been cancelled after images of weapons on the poster were brought to the school authorities’ notice by the residents concerned.
BT understands the school authorities asked the organizers to remove the images of the weapons from the posters of the event if they wanted to proceed with the event on September 10.
BT further understands images were neither replaced nor removed.
The organisers having failed to remove the “concerning images” despite repeated requests, the Surrey School District announced on Sunday September 3, a week before the voting was to take place, that it has cancelled the event.
“Earlier today, our district cancelled a community rental of one of our schools due to a violation of our rental agreement. Promotional materials for the event featured images of our school, alongside images of a weapon,” the Surrey School District was quoted by The Indo-Canadian Voice website as saying through a statement.
“Despite repeated attempts to address the issue, the event organisers failed to remove these concerning images and materials continued to be posted throughout Surrey and on social media,” the statement read.
The Khalistan posters featuring kirpan (dagger) as well as an AK-47 machine gun is not new.
The poster in contention also had pictures of Khalistani leaders Hardip Singh Nijjar, who was shot dead in June at a parking lot in Surrey and Talwinder Singh Parmar, the mastermind of the 1985 Air India flight bombing.
“As a school district, our primary mission is to provide quality education and support to our students and ensure a safe environment for our school communities. Our agreements, policies and guidelines, including those for rentals, support our district in creating a safe environment for our community. Anyone renting our facilities must adhere to this,” the statement by the school authorities read.
”Our decision is in no way an endorsement of, or criticism of, any political position,” the statement reads.
“We have communicated the cancellation to the event organizers and have initiated the refund process for any payments made in connection with the rental.”
Sikhs For Justice head Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, organisers of Khalistan referendum, has called on the Khalistan elements in Canada to “lock down” India’s consulate in Vancouver on September 8.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his chief diplomat – Minister for External Affairs Dr S. Jaishankar have previous complained of tacit support being lent to the Khalistani elements by the Canadian establishment.
Schools being assets of the state, if allowed to use for political interference in other countries can exacerbate the bilateral diplomatic ties between Canada and Bharat (India).
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