Surrey (British Columbia), September 4
In a stunning turn of events, the proposed Khalistan referendum event, originally slated to take place at Tamanwis Secondary School on September 10, has been officially canceled, leaving the community both relieved and emotionally charged.
The decision to revoke permission for the event came after an outcry from local residents, who passionately emphasized the paramount importance of maintaining peace and harmony within their tightly-knit community.
For weeks, the school had become a battleground for opposing ideologies. The event, rented by an Ontario resident under the guise of a “community gathering,” had sparked vehement protests from concerned citizens and organizations alike.
The community’s backlash was ignited by the controversial association between the event’s organizers, Sikhs For Justice led by Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, and as well as a menacing array of weapons throughout the venue.
The Concerned Residents of Surrey group, a grassroots collective of citizens, stood united in their demand for an immediate halt to the event by the Surrey School District, determined to shield their local schools from being used as platforms for promoting terrorism.
Adding their voices to the chorus of concern, the Indo-Canadian Workers Association (ICWA) passionately advocated for the event’s cancellation. In a heartfelt letter to the school board, Satinder Sangha, media coordinator for ICWA, passionately expressed their anxieties over the divisive nature of the referendum campaign, emphasizing its potential to shatter the communal harmony of the Indo-Canadian community.
“We are deeply troubled that a public school has been chosen as the backdrop for this divisive event. The posters, with their martial imagery and explicit display of weaponry, threaten to tear apart the fabric of our community. We firmly believe that no public institution should ever serve as a stage for external political events,” Sangha ardently asserted.
Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke, in a candid interview with Ivan Scott of Surrey Talk Radio, left no room for ambiguity. She unequivocally declared that the city did not endorse the Khalistani movement or any referendum activities transpiring on Surrey-controlled premises. Her condemnation was particularly vehement in response to the presence of posters featuring AK-47s on the school grounds. Locke underscored that the Surrey City Council lacked legal authority over how the Surrey School District utilized its facilities.