KELOWNA, B.C. — Police say a Sikh high school student in Kelowna, B.C., was pepper sprayed after an "altercation" on a bus on Monday, in the second instance of violence against a Sikh youth riding public transit in the city this year.
The World Sikh Organization of Canada says it's deeply concerned by the latest incident that it says began when two people tried to bar the Grade 11 student from boarding, then got on with him and began threatening him with a lighter, filming the interaction on their phones.
A statement issued by the organization on Wednesday says the assailants began kicking and punching the student, a newcomer to Canada, before the bus driver kicked them all off the bus, and the attackers pepper sprayed the teenager before bystanders got involved.
Kelowna RCMP say they were called to an intersection in Rutland Monday afternoon and found that a 17-year-old Sikh student had been pepper sprayed or bear sprayed by another teenage male.
Kelowna Mounties say they've identified a suspect but they're still investigating and are trying to figure out a motive for the attack.
In March, Kelowna RCMP said a Sikh international student was hit from behind as he got off a bus, and hate crime investigators were being consulted.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 13, 2023.
The Canadian Press