Nivedita Niranjankumar of Boom Live has done the story first.
On October 2, 2022, the official Twitter account of the Indian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, tweeted a collage of two images where a photo of the counter of a rose on a signboard was juxtaposed with an image of a signboard bearing the words Shri Bhagavad Gita Park.
The tweet implied that the signboard of Shri Bhagavad Gita Park in Brampton was vandalised and replaced with the outline of a rose. The commission called it a hate crime and requested Peel Police and Canadian authorities to look into the incident and act swiftly to bring the offenders to justice.
The tweet was picked by various Indian media outlets, with most of them focusing on the narrative that there has been a rise in hate crimes against Hindus in Canada.
Times Now aired the collage tweeted by the commission with the words "Before" and "After" written over the images, implying that the park's name, 'Shri Bhagavad Gita Park', was removed from the signboard.
Times Now also did an article with the headline: "Canada's Shri Bhagavad Gita Park sign vandalised days after renaming, Indian High Commission condemns 'hate crime'.
Zee Hindustan, a channel known for polarising debates, covered the news with the claim that there is a conspiracy against Hindus in Canada, with the ticker on their broadcast claiming that this is an attack on Sanatan.
Patrick Brown, the mayor of Brampton, tweeted, "We are aware that the recently unveiled Shri Bhagavad Gita Park sign has been vandalized. We have zero tolerance for this. We have flagged to Peel Regional Police for further investigation. Our Parks department is working to resolve and correct the sign as soon as possible".
The signboard at Shri Bhagavad Gita Park in Canada was vandalised.
The claim made by the Indian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, is false. The collage tweeted by the commission is misleading. The photos circulated as "before" and "after" to show vandalism are actually pictures of two different signboards.
The Logical Indian's fact-checking team reviewed all of the news articles on the purported event and discovered that none of them included any supporting information beyond a quote from the tweet from the Indian High Commission denouncing the alleged vandalism at the Bhagavad Gita park.
Patrick Brown, the mayor of Brampton, deleted the tweet where he first acknowledged the alleged incident.
On October 3rd, Brown provided a screenshot of the following statement from Brampton City's Parks department, which stated, "Following yesterday's report of the vandalism of the recently unveiled Shri Bhagavad Gita Park, we took swift action to investigate further. We learned that the reported blank sign was installed by the builder as a placeholder until the permanent Shri Bhagavad Gita Park sign can be replaced tomorrow".
We also discovered that local police Peel Regional Police also tweeted from its official account, saying, "There was no evidence of vandalism to the permanent sign or any park structure."
The blank sign "was a temporary sign used in the park naming ceremony," the Peel Regional Police tweeted, adding that the permanent sign "is still waiting for lettering to be applied."
While retweeting the Peel Police message, Mayor Brown added a few sentences from a statement from the Brampton Community Services and Communications department," ..on the confusion over resident complaints about Gita Park sign. We learned that the sign was damaged during the original installation & a city staff member brought it back for unplanned maintenance and to reprint".
In another tweet, he added, "The blank sign was left up during repairs. This is not usual process as we never remove a sign unless damaged or its name changes."
The blank signboard was the permanent one with no inscription, according to the Peel Police, Brampton Community Services, Brampton Parks department, and the Mayor of Brampton, and it had not been vandalised.
It is important to note that the signboards in the images tweeted by the commission do not match. In one image, the signboard can be seen on a blue surface, while in another, it is on a grassy lawn.
We could confirm that the signboard that was seen on the blue basketball court (blue turf) was a temporary signboard that was installed for the inauguration.
We looked at Facebook Live videos posted by locals of the inauguration to confirm this, and we discovered that the board on the blue turf was, in fact, a temporary one.
Sanjeev, a resident, captured the two signboards at the 0.03-time stamp on Facebook live. One is positioned on the blue turf, and the other is installed in the park's backyard.
Both the temporary signboard on the blue basketball court and the permanent signboard are visible in the video.
We could also find similar Visuals in a Facebook live by another resident Don R B Patel
Also, the flower design seen on one of the signboards and can be found on all of the city's social media sites is actually the symbol of the city of Brampton, where the park is located. The city of Brampton's official website describes its logo as "a yellow rose centred in a blue rectangle form with a white-lined petal on either edge".
Thus, we can conclude that no vandalism took place, and the photos of signboards tweeted by the Indian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, are of two different signboards: the signboard placed on a blue turf was a temporary one used during the inauguration, and the other one is of a permanent board placed at a different side of the park.
Boom Live has also fact-checked the claim.
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