2 Sikh men detained in Ottawa, released with apology after false terrorism trail

2 Sikh men detained in Ottawa, released with apology after false terrorism trail
2 Sikh men detained in Ottawa, released with apology after false terrorism trail

After two Sikh-Canadian men were wrongfully detained following a false terrorism tip to Ottawa police that led to the closure of Parliament Hill, there are still few details from officials.

Members of the United Front of Sikhs in Canada go to Ottawa every year to remember the victims of the massacres against Sikhs in India in 1984, when around 2,800 Sikhs were killed over four days. On Saturday, Ottawa police say they received a tip about a possible terrorist threat and the area around Parliament Hill was put on lockdown for several hours. Two Sikh men, who were part of the Sikh commemoration event, were also detained before being released.

One of the organizers of the rally and a spokesperson for the two wrongfully detained men, Harpreet Hansra, says the police assured them they would get to the bottom of the matter.

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“The Ottawa police apologized to us, and profusely, repeatedly apologized and said ‘you are the victims of a terrorist hoax.’ Exact words. They said, ‘you are victims of a terrorist hoax’, there is no threat, and there was no threat,” says Hansra.

“It was very worrying for us,” says Hansra, “it was very worrying that someone, an agency, how, what, when, where, who are these people, would provide this information to local law enforcement and other law enforcement agencies. that led to the closure of parliament, led to our peaceful memorial event having to be moved to a different location, and led to the questioning of two of our members of our team.”


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Canada’s most prominent Sikh, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, says this is unacceptable.

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“Without any real basis, without any real evidence, two Sikh men were treated very badly, in their own words, they were made to feel ashamed in front of their family, they were made to feel demeaned based on a fake call that clearly shows there is a problem with the way threats are taken. Real threats from far-right organizations are ignored and false threats targeting men of color are taken to extremes,” says Singh.

One of the detained men says police told him it was related to a serious bomb threat, but both were later released with an apology. Charges have not yet been filed, but the public security minister stressed that calling a false terrorism claim is a crime.

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“If you are participating in a hoax for any reason, that is against the law. It’s very serious,” says Marco Mendicino, “and I think it’s an added dimension of concern if in the deception you’re creating stereotypes, if you’re feeding the kind of particular systemic biases against the community, and I know the Sikh community is very concerned about Yes, I share those concerns.

Hansra says the police had to take the threat seriously because of the information they received, “but they concluded by apologizing and saying ‘you are the victims of a terrorist hoax and this investigation to get to the bottom of where this information came from will begin, and will continue. ‘”

The message 2 Sikh men detained in Ottawa, released with apologies after a false terrorism notice first appeared in CityNews Edmonton.