A vicious attack on an international student from India at a Kelowna bus stop came up in the House of Commons Monday.
Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas rose in the house to make a statement on the race-based assault that left 21-year-old Gagandeep Singh with numerous injuries Friday night. Singh was swarmed by a group of young people, beaten, kicked and had his turban ripped off after he got off a transit bus near the corner of Highway 97 and McCurdy Road around 10:30 p.m.
“But that wasn’t enough for these low lifes,” said Albas. “They removed his turban and dragged him on the street by his hair.
“This was a hate crime committed by cowards who should be punished severely.”
Albas went on to say that the act of senseless race-based violence is unacceptable, but more needs to be done. He argued that the justice system isn’t tough enough and meaningful changes need to be made to protect the public.
“Let's all hope the student recovers fully, his attackers are caught and face real consequences for the pain and indignity they imposed upon this man,” Albas added.
Kelowna city councillor Mohini Singh told Castanet that Gagandeep was taken to the emergency room at Kelowna General Hospital Sunday to be checked out. None of his injuries are life-threatening. Still, he has numerous injuries to his mouth, ribcage and leg.
A GoFundMe set up to help the young man with medical and other expenses while he is unable to work has raised about $12,000.
Kelowna RCMP said late Monday morning that there are no updates on the case. They continue to investigate and ask anyone with information about the case to come forward.
Gagandeep’s friends and members of the Sikh community want the case treated as a hate-motivated crime.
So far, no arrests have been made.