Khalistan referendum event at Surrey school cancelled because of image of weapon on poster

The Khalistan referendum poster.

THE Surrey School District on Sunday announced that it had cancelled the Khalistan referendum event scheduled for September 10 at Tamanawis Secondary School at 12600 66 Avenue because of the image of a weapon on the posters put up by the organizers.

The poster bears the name of Sikhs For Justice and features a photo of Talwinder Singh Parmar, who was identified as the mastermind behind the 1985 Air India bombing by an official inquiry led by former Supreme Court justice John Major. Parmar was captured and reportedly killed by Indian police in 1992. The poster also has a photo of Hardip Singh Nijjar, who was shot dead on June 18 this year in a parking lot of the Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara where he served as president.

The Surrey School District said in its statement: “Earlier today, our district cancelled a community rental of one of our schools due to a violation of our rental agreement. Promotional materials for the event featured images of our school, alongside images of a weapon.”

It added: “Despite repeated attempts to address the issue, the event organizers failed to remove these concerning images, and materials continued to be posted throughout Surrey and on social media.”

It said: “As a school district, our primary mission is to provide quality education and support to our students and ensure a safe environment for our school communities. Our agreements, policies and guidelines, including those for rentals, support our district in creating a safe environment for our community. Anyone renting our facilities must adhere to this.”

The school district noted: “Our decision is in no way an endorsement of, or criticism of, any political position.”

It added: “We have communicated the cancellation to the event organizers and have initiated the refund process for any payments made in connection with the rental.”

The divisiveness of the controversial referendum and fears of possible violence had sparked protests by some groups to the school district and the provincial government.


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