International student from India brutally attacked in Kelowna

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An international student from India is recovering after being brutally beaten and assaulted at a Kelowna bus stop.

The incident is being probed as a potential hate crime as Kelowna RCMP has engaged BC Crimes Hate Team.

The student, Gagandeep Singh,was attacked at a bus stop at about 10:30 p.m. on Friday, March 17 near Highway 97 and McCurdy Road.

Kelowna RCMP informed that they received report that a male had been assaulted. Officers attended and found the victim laying on the ground. Friends of the victim had already arrived to assist.

RCMP were told that a group people were teasing the victim and when the victim exited the bus he was hit from behind and assaulted.

The BC Ambulance Service attended the victim did attend a local hospital.

“The Kelowna RCMP take this very serious and are concerned that this type of crime has happened in our city. This assault is the top priority for our investigators said Cst. Mike Della-Paolera Media Relations Officer with the Kelowna RCMP.

Singh received outpouring support from the community and other international students. A GoFundMe page has been set up by Adam Wilson and Aman Hundal to help the victim.

According to the page, Gagandeep suffered injuries to his chest, mouth, arms and legs after he was attacked by a group of people after leaving the bus.

“As an international student who has only been in Kelowna for a year, he needs the community’s help. Even with a strong support system, he won’t be able to work, and as an international student will have medical bills, rent, tuition and more.Kelowna is a welcoming and diverse community, filled with residents who are full of love and compassion. Together we can show that there’s no place for hate and violence in our community,” the page mentions.

Kelowna City Councillor Mohini Singh condemned the racist attack and demanded that it be investigated as a hate crime.

“This is absolutely unacceptable, & reprehensible act of hate. My thoughts are with Gagandeep Singh & his loved ones. Let’s stand united to condemn this awful attack and show that hate and violence have no place in our province,” said MLA HarwinderSandu.

In a joint news release Tuesday, Kelowna’s mayor and council said they were “shocked and appalled” to hear of the assault against Gagandeep Singh.

“We are routinely being updated on this matter. We are grateful the Kelowna RCMP is thoroughly investigating this situation including engaging the BC Hate Crimes team to ensure that hate elements, if any, are properly identified and investigated,” a prepared statement read.

“Council has identified tackling crime as one of our highest priorities and violent crimes like this one will not be tolerated in our community.

“We will work collaboratively with all our community safety partners and stakeholder groups to make Kelowna a safe place for all citizens and visitors.”

Responding to the outpouring support, Gagandeep Singh said in a message on the GoFundMe page:

“The last few days have been very difficult for me. I am at home resting and recovering from the attack.

“I really appreciate the support across Canada from everyone. The comments in the GoFundMe page and the outpouring of support has reminded me of why I came to Canada.

“Thank you for your donations over the last two days, they are above and beyond what I ever imagined. “With gratitude.”