Vancouver mayor asks urinating man to step forward
Vancouver police decide not to lay charges against a man photographed urinating on the Komagata Maru memorial in Coal Harbour, Vancouver, Dec. 2, 2013. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is calling on the man who relieved himself on a memorial to victims of a notorious incident of racism to come forward and apologize.
The Vancouver Police Department decided it would not lay charges against a young man photographed urinating on the memorial dedicated to the Komagata Maru incident, which happened in 1914 when would-be immigrants from India were turned away in Vancouver.
The decision sparked public outrage and demands that the police reconsider, but the VPD said the actions did not meet the criteria for criminal charges.
Now Robertson, in lieu of charges, wants the perpetrator to own up to the act.
"I call upon the alleged offender to come forward and be accountable for these hateful actions and to take responsibility with an apology to the citizens of Vancouver,” Robertson said. “Especially to descendants of Komagata Maru passengers who suffered such intolerable discrimination — and to Vancouver's South Asian community as a whole."
Photos of the incident were taken on Dec. 2, 2013 by Pargan Mattu, who had just finished visiting the memorial with a friend visiting from India.
Mattu said the man asked him what he was “trying to prove” before throwing a soccer ball at the installation and then urinating on it.
Prominent members of the South Asian community, including Gurbax Sanghera, were initially denied a meeting with Robertson to talk about the issue, but he said Wednesday afternoon they had arranged one for later that evening.
"The community is very upset, so they have to do something about it," Gurbax Sanghera.
The mayor’s office confirmed the meeting.