Man who urinated on Komagata Maru memorial offers apology; suffers serious mental disorder says police

Published: January 16, 2014

ALMAS MEHERALLY
VANCOUVER DESI

Vancouver Coal Harbour

Man who urinated on Komagata Maru memorial in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour suffers mental disorder says police. Steve Bosch/PNG

The man who urinated on the Komagata Maru memorial last month is mentally ill and has apologized for his act, Vancouver police said Thursday.

The Vancouver police located the suspect on Wednesday and he agreed to apologize for his actions, Chief Constable Jim Chu said in a statement. The suspect’s signed apology read: I am sorry for what I did that day at the monument. I didn’t want to hurt anyone.

Police believe that the suspect is an illicit drug user, suffers a serious mental disorder and ‘ needs the health system, not the justice system’, Chu said.

“The Vancouver Police have always treated this abhorrent act on the Komagata Maru monument as a serious matter. We know the importance of this monument to the community. I was personally honoured to speak at its unveiling,” Chu said.

The Komagata Maru memorial is dedicated to the 376 Indian passengers aboard a Japanese ship of the same name, who were turned away from Canada  in May 1914 under its discriminatory laws. The ship was anchored in Vancouver for over two months and forced out of Vancouver and back to India on July 23, 1914.

The memorial was created by the Vancouver Park Board in partnership with the Khalsa Diwan Society to embrace multiculturalism and remind people about the devastating impact of racial intolerance.

When the matter of urinating on the memorial was reported to the police,  a hate crime investigator was assigned to the case, Chu said.

Police identified the suspect and interviewed the witness in the case with the help of the Khalsa Diwan Society president.

“Based on the interview results, we confirmed that our only option in the justice system was a bylaw ticket for urinating in public,” Chu said.

Chu said it was not in anyone’s interest to serve this suspect a bylaw ticket and when explained, several South Asian community leaders supported this decision.

The police had earlier this week said that while urinating in a public place can be a criminal offence in Canada under certain circumstances, that wasn’t the case here. They also decided not to press charges against the suspect.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said he supports the department’s decision. “The desecration and vandalism of the Komagata Maru monument was a disgusting and disgraceful act, but clearly performed by someone who had no idea what he was doing,” Robertson said.

Sohan Deol, president of the Khalsa Diwan Society, said the local Sikh community was initially very upset about the incident. But they accept the man’s apology and support police.

“Whatever he did, he apologized for,” Deol said. “I think the community … we should accept that (because of) the condition of that person.”

Chu said the man, who lives in Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside, will be referred to an outreach team that can help him with his mental illness.

ameherally@vancouverdesi.com

With files from The Canadian Press

Related Stories:


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





Featured

TK

Wounded teen drives himself to Surrey hospital after being shot multiple times

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI A 17-year-old male drove himself to hospital in Surrey after being shot multiple times in Newton on Sunday night, according to…
Continue Reading »

DEVGAN

Bollywood film that was to shoot in Alberta ‘indefinitely postponed’

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD Don’t brush up your Bollywood dance moves yet, Alberta. Shivay, a Hindi film that was set to start filming in the Rocky Mountains…
Continue Reading »

File photo: The new Surrey City Hall in Surrey, B.C., December 29, 2014. Arlen Redekop/PNG

Surrey named one of top seven most intelligent communities in the world

AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — The City of Surrey has been named one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2015 by New York-based think…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Canada should look overseas for growth amid falling oil prices: CPPIB CEO

By Alexandra Posadzki THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — The head of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board says oil’s sharp decline has highlighted the need…
Continue Reading »

TK

Wounded teen drives himself to Surrey hospital after being shot multiple times

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI A 17-year-old male drove himself to hospital in Surrey after being shot multiple times in Newton on Sunday night, according to…
Continue Reading »

DEVGAN

Bollywood film that was to shoot in Alberta ‘indefinitely postponed’

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD Don’t brush up your Bollywood dance moves yet, Alberta. Shivay, a Hindi film that was set to start filming in the Rocky Mountains…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC

Raise your hand, send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

miss canada

Miss Universe Canada scores big buzz online with outlandish hockey costume (w/ photos)

THE CANADIAN PRESS MIAMI — Chanel Beckenlehner is hoping to take home the crown at the Miss Universe pageant, but win or lose, she’s scored…
Continue Reading »

A herd of wild elephants from the nearby Amsung reserve forest roam in a paddy field in search of food, in Hajong Bori village, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) east of Gauhati, India, Thursday, March 22, 2007. AP Photo/ Anupam Nath

Tourists trampled to death in India after flash of camera sends elephant in ‘mad frenzy’

VANCOUVER DESI An Indian couple has been trampled to death and a tour guide injured after the flash of a camera sent an elephant in…
Continue Reading »

shiamak

Bollywood dance guru Shiamak Davar gets Canadian dignitaries grooving with a dance lesson

VANCOUVER DESI A number of Canadian dignitaries got their very own personal dance lesson from the guru of Bollywood dance himself, Shiamak Davar, while attending…
Continue Reading »

FILE PHOTO: A nine-year-old Palestinian girl  suffering from scoliosis sits as her mother shows her back x-ray as she is treated by U.S. pediatric orthopedic surgeon Hugh Watts (L) February 18, 2004 at Al-Quds hospital, in Gaza City. Abid Katib/Getty Images

Seven-year-old Scoliosis patient in Western India cured by revolutionary surgery

IANS Mumbai  – A seven-year-old girl in Mumbai suffering from Scoliosis is the first in Western India to successfully undergo a new and revolutionary procedure…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

PK-Bollywood sex-desi boobs

Anushka Sharma refuses body double, performs her own stunts in upcoming thriller

JIGAR SHAH HINDUSTAN TIMES When actors don the hat of a producer they don’t mind going the extra mile for their own film. This is…
Continue Reading »

Messenger of God

India’s censor board clears controversial guru’s film MSG

HINDUSTAN TIMES The Censor Board has cleared Messenger of God, the controversial film by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh – self-styled spiritual guru and chief of…
Continue Reading »

Trumpeters from the Indian Border Security Force's Camel Mounted Band play their instruments while riding their camels during the nation's Republic Day Parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2015. Rain failed to dampen spirits at India's Republic Day parade January 26 as US President Barack Obama became the first US president to attend the spectacular military and cultural display in a mark of the nations' growing closeness. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Bollywood celebs salute Republic Day parade

IANS Mumbai  – On the country’s 66th Republic Day on Monday, a host of film celebrities not just recounted their memories of watching the annual…
Continue Reading »