‘It’s pride getting in the way': Feuding Indo-Canadian youth factions worry Abbotsford cops (w/ video)

Published: August 20, 2014

JENNIFER SALTMAN 
VANCOUVER DESI 

No one really knows how the conflict started.

According to a number of people who are involved, in February one person from one group disrespected someone from another group at a bar or at some kind of gathering.

From there, it escalated into a months-long battle involving two large groups of predominantly young South Asian men, which has police worried for the safety of those involved and the public.

Const. Ian MacDonald says: ‘You don’t want to see anybody carted away in an ambulance over this, and that is a very real possibility. Ric Ernst/PNG

“It’s pride getting in the way,” said Const. Ian MacDonald of the Abbotsford Police Department.

“This isn’t something that’s driven by difference in neighbourhood, it’s not difference in class, it’s not difference in ethnicity, it’s not difference in economics, it’s … respect and pride.

“Someone did something to somebody, and instead of one party getting over it, it started to set off this chain of events.”

Every week, police respond to two or three incidents related to the dispute. In May, there was a spike during which the police department averaged five or six calls per week. There was a period of calm in July, but things picked up again at the beginning of this month.

The incidents run the gamut: eggs thrown, stacks of unwanted pizzas ordered and delivered, vehicles driven on to lawns and into homes, rocks lobbed through windows, car fires, road rage incidents and what police are describing as “rumbles” in parks and residential areas involving 15 to 20 young men armed with bats, clubs and bear spray.

In one notable incident, a group of young men in an SUV drove on to the sidewalk at two pedestrians. A witness called police.

Another time, a woman in her 50s had her Maserati vandalized with a sledgehammer, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Her daughter, whose boyfriend was peripherally involved in the dispute, had borrowed the car.

Assault charges have been recommended against two young men.

“Even with the few members of both sides of the conflict you can have a rational conversation with, they can’t pinpoint where this started, but they can clearly pinpoint the last incident,” MacDonald said.

“If they can pinpoint the last incident then it can, for them, give them reason for the next retribution or retaliation.”

So far no one has been seriously hurt — some people sustained minor injuries during altercations — but MacDonald said police are concerned things will escalate.

“You don’t want to see anybody carted away in an ambulance over this, and that is a very real possibility,” he said.

Police have tried to be proactive. In July, they told the public what was happening and the number of incidents dropped significantly for a few weeks. This month, more calls began coming in.

Patrol officers have been conducting vehicle stops, speaking to people on the streets and in parks, and pleading with families to step in. Prominent members of the South Asian community have also been asked to help.

Two cameras have been installed in neighbourhoods where the majority of the incidents have been taken place and where people from the two groups live.

“At this point anything that’s going to restore any degree of calm or restore some degree of public safety, we’re going to use it,” MacDonald said.

Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman was unavailable to comment on the situation Tuesday.

MacDonald said that since the cameras went in last week, there has been relative calm, which police hope will last.

“The unfortunate part is there will come a time that the people involved in this will look back and see how silly this is,” MacDonald said. “We just hope it’s sooner rather than later.”

Related stories:

jensaltman@theprovince.com
twitter.com/jensaltman

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,




Featured

Sikh Samaritan

Sikh Samaritan breaks religious protocol, removes turban to help injured child (with video)

IANS Wellington – A young Sikh Samaritan did not hesitate to break religious protocol by removing his turban to help an injured child bleeding profusely…
Continue Reading »

diversity-cuture-desi

Cyclists roll into Surrey schools with message of respect and diversity

BEAU SIMPSON SURREY NOW NEWTON — Hundreds of Surrey students left school Thursday with a simple request at the top of their minds – make…
Continue Reading »

NRI-DESI-DEPORTATION

‘Stateless’ man argues deportation to India before Court of Appeal

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Deepan Budlakoti, born and raised in Canada, has no citizenship anywhere. But that doesn’t make him “stateless,” a lawyer for Citizenship…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

diversity-cuture-desi

Cyclists roll into Surrey schools with message of respect and diversity

BEAU SIMPSON SURREY NOW NEWTON — Hundreds of Surrey students left school Thursday with a simple request at the top of their minds – make…
Continue Reading »

NRI-DESI-DEPORTATION

‘Stateless’ man argues deportation to India before Court of Appeal

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Deepan Budlakoti, born and raised in Canada, has no citizenship anywhere. But that doesn’t make him “stateless,” a lawyer for Citizenship…
Continue Reading »

Abbotsford police

Parolee puts the ‘ram’ in Abbotsford car dealership rampage

IAN AUSTIN VANCOUVER DESI A suspect who went on a demolition-derby-style rampage at an Abbotsford car dealership faces a raft of charges. Abbotsford Police Const….
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver Ross Street Sikh Temple

Media-savvy Narendra Modi’s one year in photos as India’s prime minister

VANCOUVER DESI Check out photos of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he completes one year in office. Modi is one of India’s most social…
Continue Reading »

Surrey Shooting

‘This is really close to home’: Two cars exchange gunfire in Surrey neighbourhood

CHERYL CHAN VANCOUVER DESI Another bout of gunfire rocked a Surrey neighbourhood Sunday evening. Newton resident Doug Elford tweeted about hearing gunfire outside his home…
Continue Reading »

masturbation

Masturbation causes pregnant hands in afterlife, says Turkish preacher

HINDUSTAN TIMES An Islamic televangelist from Turkey has created a storm on social media by claiming that any man who masturbates will find his hands…
Continue Reading »

sexual harssment

Migrant women fear speaking out about sexual harassment in Florida’s farms

EMILIO J. LOPEZ IANS/EFE Miami – Women working on Florida’s farms, most of them undocumented immigrants, are constantly exposed to sexual harassment, workers’ rights activists…
Continue Reading »

The Canadian Flag flies over the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill on Feb. 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ottawa unveils new immigrant investor program

VANCOUVER DESI Ottawa is now accepting applications for its new immigrant investor program, which aims to provide up to 60 “high-net worth immigrants” a path…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood-China

Chinese star Wang Baoqiang dubs for Bollywood actor Aamir Khan in PK

HINDUSTAN TIMES When Aamir Khan speaks in Mandarin in the Chinese version of his Bollywood blockbuster PK, it is the popular Chinese actor and comedian…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood actor Ashish Juneja to enter ‘Itna Karo Na Mujhe Pyar’

IANS Mumbai – Actor Ashish Juneja has been roped in to play the role of Kartik in popular soap opera “Itna Karo Na Mujhe Pyar”….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood badshah tweets first look of Salman Khan's Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Bollywood badshah Shah Rukh Khan shares first look of Salman Khan’s ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’

IANS Mumbai – Superstar Shah Rukh Khan has come forward to show ‘brotherhood’ with actor Salman Khan by releasing the first look of the “Dabangg”…
Continue Reading »