In what appears to be a hate crime, a 17-year-old Sikh high school student in Canada’s British Columbia province was assaulted at a bus stop following an altercation with another teenager. The incident occurred on Monday at the intersection of Rutland Road South and Robson Road East in Kelowna, where the student was reportedly subjected to kicking, punching, and pepper spraying, as reported by CTV News.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police stated, “Officers determined a 17-year-old Sikh student was either beer or pepper sprayed by another teenage male after exiting a public transit bus on his way home.”
Before the assault, there was an altercation on the bus, resulting in the removal of those involved. While additional details have not been released by the police, the World Sikh Organisation of Canada claimed that the student was also assaulted while on board the vehicle.
According to the organization’s statement, “Two individuals approached the student and first barred his entry onto the bus and then, once allowing him to board, began to threaten him with a lighter and photograph and record him from a close distance with their phones.”
Guntaas Kaur, WSO Vice President for British Columbia, expressed, “Monday’s attack on a Sikh high school student in Kelowna is shocking and unacceptable.”
This incident marks the second case of violence against a Sikh youth using public transit in the city this year. In March, a 21-year-old Sikh student from India, Gagandeep Singh, was attacked in British Columbia by an unidentified group of men who forcibly removed his turban and dragged him along the sidewalk by his hair.