Diwali, a Hindu holiday also known as the Festival of Light, took a dark turn in Brampton on Sunday night as deep-rooted sectarian tensions between Sikhs and Hindus boiled over at a local plaza.
Disturbing videos circulating on social media captured the clashes, revealing participants from both communities hurling litter and trash at each other as fireworks went off in the background.
The footage showcased Sikhs waving flags associated with the Khalistan separatist movement before Peel Regional Police officers responded to the scene.
After receiving reports of a “disturbance” at the plaza shortly before 9 p.m. on Sunday, law enforcement has not indicated whether charges have been pressed.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the response, Mississauga City Coun. Carolyn Parrish criticized what she deemed an “extremely poor response” by Peel Regional Police and a “disgusting lack of preparedness.”
In a social media post, Parrish condemned the presence of a local community police station in the plaza as a “major disappointment,” asserting that it had failed to enhance the lives of Malton residents.
A separate video revealed the aftermath of the confrontation, portraying the plaza’s parking lot strewn with garbage and litter.
On social media, commentators condemned the out spilling of intercultural conflicts on Canadian streets. True North founder and Editor-In-Chief Candice Malcolm blasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vision of Canada as a “post-national society” as a cause behind the ongoing problems.
Tensions between Canada and India have escalated as a prominent leader of the Sikh separatist movement, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, based in Canada, urged Sikhs to avoid traveling on Air India flights, citing potential life-threatening consequences.
Pannun, designated as a terrorist by the Indian government, released a video reiterating threats and announcing a global blockade against Air India on November 19.
He warned Sikh individuals that their lives would be in danger if they chose to fly with the airline on that specific date, framing it as a message to the Indian government.
Notably, Pannun was previously rumoured to have been killed in a car accident in the US before the video surfaced.