Indo-Canadian woman booked for husband’s murder, paid Rs 2.7 lakh to contract killer

More than two months after the body of an NRI, who was into property dealing in the district, was found in Sawara village in Kharar on March 16 with multiple stab wounds, the police have booked his wife Pawandeep Kaur (35) for murder and arrested four men who had planned the crime, including the contract killer.

Police claim that Pawandeep, a mother of two staying in Toronto, had an estranged relationship with her husband, Jaskaran Singh (38) and also wanted to grab his property.

The victim Jaskaran Singh and mastermind Pawandeep Kaur. (HT Photo)

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, SAS Nagar

Police also claim she was also having an affair with two of the men involved in the murder. She had paid Rs 2.75 lakh to the killers and had promised another Rs 25 lakh.

The accused have been identified as Lakhbir Singh (32), the contract killer; Davinder Singh alias Prince (25), Bhawanpreet Bhangu (25) and Gurpreet Singh alias Soni (25). Davinder holds a bachelor’s degree in computer applications (BCA) and worked with the Nawanshahr district transport office, Bhawanpreet Bhangu from Ropar is also a BCA; Gurpreet is a BCA and is a bus conductor at Ropar.

Killer posed as property buyer

On the day of the murder, contract killer Lakhbir approached Jaskaran as a property buyer and the duo decided to go take a round. At a vacant plot near the Government Middle School, Jaskaran was stabbed repeatedly with a knife and the body was dumped in the fields. His body was later spotted around 4am by a woman passerby.

“Pawandeep conspired to kill Jaskaran as they had an estranged relationship and she also wanted his property. The couple jointly owns a house in Toronto where she is presently living,” said SAS Nagar senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar.

He added that Pawandeep was having an affair with Gurpreet Singh alias Soni since 2013 and later also developed intimate relations with Bhangu, who introduced her to contract killer Lakhbir Singh.

Money transfer, the major clue

Bhullar added that since the murder appeared to be the work of a professional, from Day 1, the police did suspect the hand of a family member in crime and had been monitoring Pawandeep.

“Pawandeep transferred Rs 2 lakh to Bhangu through Western Union that alerted us. Another Rs 75,000 was sent directly to the account of contract killer Lakhbir,” the SPP added.

Killer fled to Delhi

After the brutal murder, Lakhbir fled from the district to Delhi in the victim’s Swift Dzire that has been recovered from his possession. He had fitted a fake registration plate and kept on using the car.

Mastermind wife did attend cremation

In a brazen show of overconfidence, Pawandeep, along with her children, had even visited the Swara village to attend the last rites of Jaskaran. Even as the police investigation is on, she had returned to Canada on the plea that her children had their exams. In fact, the unsuspecting father of Jaskaran had requested the police to allow her to leave. “We did suspect her, but did not have evidence to nail her. She was thus allowed to leave. We will approach the Canadian embassy for her arrest,” the SSP added.

Murder convict on parole is the killer

Lakhbir is a double murder convict serving life term and came out on parole in 2012 from the Patiala Jail. He is a proclaimed offender and figures as accused in four other cases.

New partnership between Surrey cops and online app aims to reduce bike theft

Surrey RCMP has partnered with an online bike registration and recovery service to help reduce bike theft in the city of Surrey and return recovered bikes to their rightful owners.

As part of its commitment to reduce property crime across the city, the Surrey RCMP has partnered with Project 529 Garage (www.project529.com), a website and phone app that allows cyclists to easily and securely register their bikes online. Registration is free and users can broadcast “missing bike bulletins” to the 529 community and social networks to assist in recovering a stolen bike. Bike owners also have the option of affixing a tamper resistant sticker with a registration number on their bike for easy identification.

“Bike theft victims often don’t have the serial number or adequate detail to identify their bike successfully, making it very difficult for police to reunite recovered bikes with their rightful owners,” says Surrey RCMP Corporal Scotty Schumann. “As a result, the Surrey RCMP is encouraging bike owners to register their bikes with 529 Garage and secure the critical identifying information needed for police and insurance.”

Like many cities across the Lower Mainland, Surrey has experienced an increase in bike theft over the past few years. Between 2014 and 2015 there was a 12% increase in reported bike thefts in Surrey. The peak period for bike thefts is between May and October.

“While bike theft continues to be a problem across the region, it can be reduced through crime prevention initiatives and educating bike owners on how to property secure and identify their bicycles,” says Cpl. Schumann. “With an increased number of bike owners committed to registering and marking their bikes with an identification number, we can work together and send a strong message to bike thieves.”

In celebration of Bike to Work Week (May 30-June 5th), the Surrey RCMP will be hosting two free events for the public to learn more about bike theft prevention. Information booths will be set up and bike shop representatives will be on site to help owners register their bikes with Project 529 Garage. The first 200 people that attend will receive a Project 529 Garage tamper resistant bike identification number sticker.

What: Bike theft prevention and registration events

Dates and Locations: May 28th at Cloverdale Recreation Centre (6188 176 Street), and June 2nd at City Hall Plaza (13450 104th Avenue) from 10:00am to 2:00pm

Who: Surrey RCMP, Project 529 Garage, bike shops representatives

 

The Surrey RCMP would like to remind cyclists that it is also important to safeguard your property with a u-shaped bike lock and to ensure that it is secured indoors when not in use. For more information on bike theft prevention please visit the Protect Yourself section of our website.

 

For more information on Project 529 Garage and their partnerships with other police agencies please visit their website www.project529.com/garage.

Winners Announced- 2016 Surrey International Trade Awards

Surrey, B.C. – The 8th Surrey Board of Trade, Surrey International Trade Awards Reception took place on May 12th drawing over 250 business people from Surrey and the Lower Mainland to celebrate Surrey’s import and export companies.

“This event really speaks to the reality that Surrey businesses are part of the global economic equation. Countries cannot live in isolation. They have to mutually share their prosperity, technical know-how and undertake trade in order to sell their products. The world economy is inter-dependent. Economic progress of a nation depends upon its ties with other countries,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

“That is why the Surrey Board of Trade is the only Board of Trade/Chamber of Commerce with an International Trade Centre in our office, creating global business connections for local businesses. Last year, we expanded our trade documentation services and business development services.”

This year’s winner under Small Business Category (Revenue under $15 million) was Nana’s Kitchen and under Large Business Category (Revenue over $15 million) was Coast Clear Wood Ltd.

Coast Clear Wood Ltd.

Coast Clear Wood is a specialty wood products manufacturer and marketing company based in Surrey, with sales of approximate $28 million in 2015. They buy logs from the major coastal forest products companies and cut them into custom products for a very specific customer base. Their motto is “We strive for excellence” as they execute against our value proposition of matching a customers’ unique lumber requirements with the available raw material supply. They sell to domestic and international marketplaces with their products being used in the construction industry as well as in the manufacturing process for windows, doors, flooring, cabinetry, furniture and much more.

 Nana’s Kitchen

Nana’s Kitchen is strategically addressing the export market with their brand difference of “convenient comfort foods with a global taste”. With 75% of their market revenues being derived from the export market, Nana’s Kitchen produces global taste profile food products for grocery retail and food service sectors. Unlike many of their competitors that promote just samosas, Nana’s Kitchen proudly supplies handmade savory and sweet entrée items that are inspired by the culture, caring, and kitchen memories of many ‘Nanas’ all over the world.

More recently, Surrey Board of Trade Business and International Trade Coordinator Luke Arathoon completed the International Chamber of Commerce World Chamber Federation Accreditation program. The Surrey Board of Trade is part of a unique and truly global forum uniting the global network of more than 12,000 chambers and Board of Trades’ from every country around the world. Through the accreditation, best practices, the development of new global products and services for chambers, and international partnerships between chambers and other stakeholders, is put in place helping local businesses grow in international markets. The Surrey Board of Trade’s accreditation reinforces the SBOT’s competency and professionalism in issuing international documentation.

“Luke Arathoon is the 2nd person in Canada to receive this Accreditation, and the only one in Western Canada. This accreditation will ensure that trade documents are reviewed in depth to ensure smooth receipt of products around the globe.”

“Luke Arathoon is the 2nd person in Canada to receive this Accreditation, and the only one in Western Canada. This accreditation will ensure that trade documents are reviewed in depth to ensure smooth receipt of products around the globe.”

WSO Welcomes Komagata Maru Apology- Calls for Inclusion in School Curricula

Ottawa (May 18, 2016):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada welcomes today’s apology by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on behalf of the Government of Canada for the Canadian Government’s decision in 1914 to refuse entry to the Komagata Maru.  The ship, carrying 376 mostly Sikh passengers from Punjab, British India was turned away after two months of being refused entry at the Vancouver ports.  The WSO has reached out to provincial minsters of education across Canada, calling for the Komagata Maru tragedy and the racist immigration policy behind the incident to be made part of school curricula.

The Komagata Maru and its passengers, despite being British subjects, were denied entry due to racist immigration controls established by the Canadian government to exclude non-European immigrants.  In response to race riots and “anti-Asiatic” parades, driven by fears that Canada would be overrun by Asian immigration, the Canadian government passed an Order in Council in 1908 prohibiting immigration of individuals who did not come to Canada via a continuous journey from their country of birth or citizenship.  In effect, this law prohibited the entry of all immigrants from India, as a continuous voyage was not possible without a stopover. Other Orders in Council also prohibited the landing of Asian immigrants that did not possess $200 upon arrival.  At the same time, Canada was welcoming record levels of European immigration.

While Prime Minister Trudeau’s apology in the House of Commons recognizes the “dark chapter” the Komagata Maru incident as well as the exclusionary and racist immigration laws represent in Canadian history, it is important that this chapter is neither forgotten nor ignored.  The WSO has written to provincial ministers calling for the Komagata Maru incident to be included in school curricula across the country.

WSO President Mukhbir Singh said today, “Prime Minster Trudeau’s apology in the House of Commons today is a historic moment for Canadian Sikhs and recognizes the dark chapter the Komagata Maru tragedy marks in Canada’s history.  While Canada is today a model of multiculturalism and inclusivity, it is important for us to understand that it was not always.   We believe it is essential that the Komagata Maru incident, as well as the anti-immigrant sentiment that fueled this incident, be made a part of our provincial education curricula. It is important that we as Canadians teach our youngsters to confront issues such as racism and xenophobia and learning about the Komagata Maru incident is an excellent opportunity to do so.”

Formally apologizing for the Komagata Maru tragedy will shape a better future

By Sukh Dhaliwal, Member of Parliament for Surrey-Newton

It has been a long journey since I was first elected in 2006 to get to the historic Komagata Maru apology delivered by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons on Wednesday.  I first rose in the House in 2007 to urge for such a statement, only to spend several years being ignored and dismissed by the former Conservative government.

It was frustrating to watch how the issue was treated as a political tool to attract votes.  There were dozens of meetings with the Professor Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, several Gurdwaras and other community organizations, and annual speeches made at the Mela Gadri Babian Da, but never any action taken.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s approach to the tragedy is very different.  The formal apology is being delivered to correct an historical wrong, and to continue to improve in the way that we govern.

More importantly, this simple act is part of the Government of Canada’s understanding that examining our past can help to build a better future.

Whether it is adopting recommendations from the Reconciliation Commission of Canada regarding the terrible abuse within the Indian residential school system, or officially issuing an apology in the House of Commons for the Komagata Maru incident, the Liberal government believes in making changes from our past mistakes.

This kind of recognition not only offers atonement, but also charts a different way that we as a government designs, implements and reviews policy.  By always placing a priority on basic human rights, equality and inclusion, every piece of legislation we introduce will be guided by the lessons learned.

From a personal standpoint, the apology marks one of the highlights of my time as a Member of Parliament.  This has been an important issue in Surrey-Newton and amongst thousands of my constituents since the first day that I was sworn in.  I have been aggressive in my attempts to advance towards the recognition that was just achieved, and I never gave up hope that we would one day get to this point.

I am also very proud to be a part of a government that does not run away from taking responsibility to bring closure to the Punjabi community within Canada, and across the world.

In a moment like this, I am reminded why I so passionately believe in public service.

Mulcair welcomes official apology on the anniversary of the Komagata Maru Tragedy

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair (Outremont)  welcomed the official apology and made the following statement on the anniversary of the Komagata Maru tragedy:
“Over a hundred years ago, 376 passengers boarded a Japanese steamship named Komagata Maru. Most of them were Sikhs from the Punjab region of India, searching for safety and a better life in Canada.

Instead of being welcomed when they arrived in Vancouver, they were refused entry. The ship remained in Burrard Inlet for two months while the passengers were refused basic necessities, like food and water, before all but twenty were sent back to India.

Let’s be clear: The Komagata Maru wasn’t just an “incident”—it was the result of racist and discriminatory laws, much like the Chinese Head Tax, designed to exclude entire groups of people from Canada.

These policies did immeasurable harm. When the ship arrived in Calcutta, police fired on the passengers. Nineteen people were killed. Many more were imprisoned and persecuted.

New Democrats have a long and proud history of standing with the South Asian community in Canada and fighting for justice for the victims.

Four years ago, our former colleagues, Jasbir Sandhu and Jinny Sims, moved a motion in Parliament calling for an official apology for the Komagata Maru. Despite a nation-wide petition campaign that collected thousands of signatures, our motion was voted down by the government of the day.

After years of struggle, we welcome the long-awaited official apology from the Prime Minister in the House of Commons today. This was a dark chapter in the history of a country that has come to recognize diversity and inclusion as a great strength.

While the healing and reconciliation can now truly begin, we owe it to those who were turned away to do more than just apologise. We must ensure that this kind of tragedy can never again be repeated.

That’s why New Democrats will continue to fight for a more welcoming Canada—where diversity is celebrated, families can reunite with loved ones, and the most vulnerable are given refuge in their time of need.”

Premier Christy Clark attends federal Komagata Maru apology

OTTAWA – British Columbia Premier Christy Clark issued the following
statement as she attended today’s apology concerning the racist
policies that denied the Komagata Maru entry into Canada on May 23,
1914:

“The Komagata Maru is an important part of both Canada’s and British
Columbia’s history that we must never forget. In our great province and
country, it is vital to remain steadfast in our goal to create an
inclusive environment for all cultures that celebrates diversity and
refuses to tolerate racism and hatred.

“In 2008, the B.C. legislature also issued a formal apology for the
events of May 23, 1914, when 376 passengers of the Komagata Maru were
denied entry to Canada. It is my honour, as premier, to attend the
federal government’s formal apology ceremony, along with a delegation
of fellow British Columbians.

“Today is also an opportunity to acknowledge the many contributions of
British Columbians of South Asian descent, who, unlike the Komagata
Maru passengers, were able to realize their dreams and forge new
beginnings here. Their stories are woven into the very fabric of B.C.’s
rich cultural mosaic.

“South Asian pioneers and early settlers not only helped to build this
province, they established strong cultural ties between India and
British Columbia, playing a significant role in furthering B.C.’s
international trade and investment strategy to diversify our economy
and create jobs for British Columbians.

“As the most ethnically diverse province in Canada, increased
participation by all cultures is vitally important to the creation of a
strong and vibrant social and economic future for B.C.”

Prime Minister delivers formal Komagata Maru apology in House of Commons

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today delivered a formal statement of apology in the House of Commons for the Komagata Maru incident.

On May 23, 1914, a steamship arrived in Vancouver carrying 376 passengers who had hopes for a new life in Canada. After a long journey from India, the majority of the passengers – who were of Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu origin – were denied entry into Canada due to the laws in existence at the time.

Today, the Prime Minister delivered a formal apology in front of descendants of those directly affected by the incident. He emphasized that Canada’s rich diversity is a source of strength for our country and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to upholding the values – including multiculturalism – enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“Today – while knowing that no words can fully erase the pain and suffering experienced by the passengers – I offer a sincere apology on behalf of the government for the laws in force at the time that allowed Canada to be indifferent to the plight of the passengers of the Komagata Maru.” said Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“The Komagata Maru incident is a stain on Canada’s past. But the history of our country is one in which we constantly challenge ourselves, and each other, to extend our personal definitions of who is a Canadian. We have learned, and will continue to learn, from the mistakes of our past. We must make sure to never repeat them,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of  Commons  while delivering the formal apology for the Komagata Maru incident.

International Trade Minister welcomes President of European Parliament

Ottawa, Ontario:  Canada and Europe enjoy a strong partnership and shared values, and today the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, was pleased to welcome to Ottawa Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament.

After meeting in Brussels last month, the two continued their discussion today on the next steps toward implementing Canada and the EU’s landmark trade agreement, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

“Canada is a trading nation. Free trade agreements do not simply connect us to the rest of the world, they also guide our economic growth. CETA is a gold-standard agreement that will bring great benefits to both Canadians and Europeans. We are firmly committed to having CETA enter into force as early as possible so Canadians and Europeans can take full advantage of its benefits, says Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of International Trade.

“Our work on this landmark agreement should leave no doubt about our commitment to free, fair and progressive trade, and our ability to get deals done. We recognize the importance of our relationship with Europe, but early in our mandate we also recognized the clear need for progressive improvements if this deal were to be implemented.”

The two agree that CETA sets the standard in terms of free, fair and progressive trade and that it will create tremendous opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic. Canada and the EU are committed to signing the agreement in 2016 for entry into force in 2017.

Komagata Maru apology: Ship’s story represents ‘dark chapter’ of Canada’s past

Justin Trudeau to apologize for Canada’s 1914 decision to turn away steamship carrying 376 migrants

By Amy Husser, CBC News

It’s an apology more than a century in the making.

Nearly 102 years after the Komagata Maru sailed into Vancouver, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has offered a full apology in the House of Commons for the government of the day’s decision to turn away the ship, which was carrying hundreds of South Asian immigrants, most of whom were Sikhs.

The Komagata Maru arrived on Canada’s West Coast on May 23, 1914, anchoring in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour. Nearly all of the 376 passengers were denied entry and the ship sat in the harbour for two months. It was ultimately forced to return to India and was met by British soldiers. Twenty passengers were killed and others jailed following an ensuing riot.

 “The passengers of the Komagata Maru, like millions of immigrants to Canada since, were seeking refuge and better lives for their families. With so much to contribute to their new home, they chose Canada and we failed them utterly,” Trudeau said last month, announcing the formal apology.

“As a nation, we should never forget the prejudice suffered by the Sikh community at the hands of the Canadian government of the day. We should not and we will not.”

Here’s a closer look at what the prime minister described as a “dark chapter” in our history:

Setting sail

The Komagata Maru was a Japanese steamship chartered by wealthy Sikh businessman, Gurdit Singh, who was then living in Hong Kong. Its passage was a direct challenge to Canada’s immigration rules, which had grown increasingly strict — and discriminatory — at the turn of the century.

Canada needed immigrants to cultivate western farmland but preferred those from the U.S, Britain or northern Europe.

India had been a British colony for almost 200 years at this point, and Singh believed British citizens should be able to freely visit any country in the Commonwealth.

Komagata Maru passengers

Passengers from the Komagata Maru, shown in 1914. (James L. Quiney/City of Vancouver Archives)

The steamship departed Hong Kong on April 4, 1914, making stops in Shanghai and Japan. Previously used to transport coal, the Komagata Maru had been transformed for the long journey.

Word of the ship’s intended destination quickly reached Vancouver, where anti-Asian sentiment was already in full swing. Local newspaper headlines of the day decried its arrival as a “Hindu invasion.”

In Vancouver, the Komagata Maru was immediately greeted by immigration officials who refused to let its passengers disembark. Twenty people determined to be returning residents were eventually permitted entry, but no one else stepped foot off the boat.

Why was it stopped?

“The reality is Canada kept all kinds of people out,” says Hugh Johnston, a retired Simon Fraser University history professor who wrote The Voyage of the Komagata Maru: The Sikh Challenge to Canada’s Colour Bar. “Up until the 1960s, it was very hard for people from outside of northern Europe and the United States to come to Canada.”

By the early 1900s, British Columbia was home to about 2,000 Indians, mainly Punjabi Sikhs, who had come for work. They were some of the first Asian immigrants.

Canada instituted the Chinese Immigration Act in 1885, which included a head tax, to try to limit arrivals from the East Asian country.

By 1907, race riots and “anti-Asiatic” parades were taking place, spurred by fears that immigration would allow Asia’s large population to overrun Canada’s West Coast.

li-komagatamaru-620

The Komagata Maru sits in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour in 1914. The ship became a spectacle for locals during its two-month stay at the waterfront.

British Columbians, Johnston says, were “very aware” of the established South Asian population. “They were more excited about this than the numbers warranted,” he says. “Ignorance about India would have been colossal.”

In response, Canada passed the Continuous Passage Act in 1908, requiring all immigrants to arrive directly from their point of origin, with no stops in between — a near-impossible task for those travelling from South Asia.

Immigrants from this region also needed to arrive with $200 in landing money, not dissimilar to rules still in place today intended to ensure new arrivals can support themselves, but fees back then varied from one population to the next.

In chartering the Komagata Maru, Singh was testing these new rules, though he may not have shared his strategy with his passengers. And as British subjects, they didn’t believe they were subject to the $200 landing fee.

These laws remained on the books until 1947.

Ship’s retreat

During the two months the Komagata Maru sat in the harbour, the ship became a spectacle, with near-daily newspaper reports of developments and crowds of hundreds gathering at the waterfront to gawk.

The Komagata Maru was formally ordered out in July. On the 19th, 125 Vancouver police officers and 35 special immigration agents attempted to board the vessel but were beaten back.

Four days later, on July 23, under the guns of the naval cruiser HMCS Rainbow, the Komagata Maru was escorted out to sea and began the journey to Calcutta.

Calls for an apology

Johnston began researching his book in the late 1970s, only a few years after Canada opened up its immigration policies, and says very few people had heard of the Komagata Maru at that time.

CANADA-ELECTION/

Justin Trudeau speaks to a supporter at the 20th Annual Mela Gadri Babian Da Sikh cultural festival in Surrey, B.C., on Aug. 2, 2015. The Liberal leader promised a formal apology for the Komagata Maru incident at that time. (REUTERS/Ben Nelms)

But Canada’s South Asian population now sits at 1.6 million, according to the 2011 Census, with India being the third most-common source country for recent immigrants.

“The consciousness has come as the number of South Asians in this country has increased,” Johnston says. “I know people who have [come] to Canada in the last 10 or 15 years and had no knowledge of this story. Then they find out about it and inevitably … are immensely disappointed that this is in Canada’s past.”

The Prof. Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, founded in 1990, has been lobbying for an apology for nearly 25 years, working with local, provincial and federal politicians.

The importance of an official apology, group spokesman Herman Thind says, is “rooted in fairness.”

2008 apology

In 1988, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney formally apologized to those sent to Japanese internment camps in the 1940s, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued official apologies for the Chinese head tax in 2006 and to residential school survivors in 2008.

The B.C. government formally apologized for the Komagata Maru incident in May 2008 and a monument was unveiled on Vancouver’s seawall in 2012, funded by the federal government.

But Harper stopped short of a formal apology in August 2008, when he instead apologized at a Sikh gathering of 8,000 in Surrey, B.C., home of the country’s largest Indo-Canadian population.

Harper 20080803

Stephen Harper speaks at the 13th Annual Mela Gadri Babian Da in Surrey, B.C., on Aug. 3, 2008, when he apologized for the Komagata Maru incident. Many attendees roundly rejected the apology, saying it should have been made in the Commons. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Many in attendance immediately rejected the apology, saying it needed to be done on the floor of the House of Commons. The Prof. Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, which organized Harper’s appearance, had made it “very clear” only a formal apology would be acceptable, Thind says.

“It’s always been about having an official apology written into Hansard so that it is on the public record,” he adds. “To us, that just amounted to a political statement made in an election year.”

The Liberals have been pushing for a formal apology for years and Trudeau made pre-election promises to do so in both 2014 and 2015.

Thind says his organization expects tomorrow to be a “huge celebration” with 500 people in attendance. The group, meanwhile, will continue to push for the Komagata Maru story to be included in Canadian curricula.

“If we’re to call ourselves a multicultural land, not a melting pot, then we really need to have a discussion about some of the struggles that other cultures had in coming to Canada.”

With files from the Canadian Press