The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say they’ve arrested a young mail in the bear spray attack on a 17-year-old Sikh high schooler, according to CBC News.
The boy was attacked by another young male, who was arrested by Kelowna Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Sept. 13, Authorities announced Mounties made the arrest on September 13.
“While the effects of bear spray are extremely painful and may only be temporary, the effects of this young man’s decisions will last much much longer. We condemn any acts of violence in our community and are thoroughly investigating this matter.” RCMP Cpl. Michael Gauthier said in a statement.
This is the second incident of violent attacks on Sikh students conducted on Kelowna public transit this year, CBC reported. Canada’s National Observer reported that in March 2023, an alleged hate crime took place when someone struck a Sikh international student from behind while the victim exited a B.C. Transit bus.
The World Sikh Organization of Canada released a statement following the latest incident, voicing their concern over the attacks on Sikh Youth.
Guntaas Kaur, WSO Vice President for British Columbia, expressed disappointment in the lack of intervention and protection from the B.C. Transit employee at the scene.
“What is incredibly disappointing is that the BC Transit bus driver did not intervene and in fact removed both the attackers and the victim from the bus, leaving the Sikh student to fend for himself. The Sikh high school student is recovering from his injuries and from the pepper spray but cannot understand why he was assaulted.
He is afraid to return to school for fear of being attacked again.” Kaur said in the statement.
Kelowna Capital News reported that the B.C. Transit responded to the incident saying that “Our thoughts are with the victim of this assault, and the organization is supporting the Kelowna RCMP. As this is an active investigation, we cannot comment further at this time.
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