Racist insults hurled at South Asian elders and children in Surrey park

South Asian elders and kids in a Surrey park say a couple hurled racist insults and even threw garbage at them Wednesday afternoon. Kier Junos speaks with some of the victims.

SURREY (NEWS 1130) — Visitors to a Surrey park say they were subjected to racist insults and allege a couple threw garbage at them Wednesday afternoon.

In a video posted to Instagram Thursday, insults can be heard coming from two people, aimed towards a group of South Asian people gathering in the park.

Sahiba Sangha lives by Aspen Park in Surrey, and her grandmother was part of the group.

Translating for her grandmother, she says the couple brought trash from the garbage can and threw it at the elderly women while swearing.

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“Her friends and her, they were sitting in the park peacefully just talking, chatting, and a couple came took garbage out of the garbage can and started throwing it on them and the kids,” she says. “They said, ‘Shut the f— up. Go back to India. I’m gonna flip more than garbage next time I see you here.’ And, ‘We’re in Canada, speak English, don’t you speak English?'”

Sangha says her grandmother was terrified.

“My grandma felt like they were raged to the point that they wanted to kill these women. They wanted to hurt them badly. Like they were shouting it in their faces,” she says.

According to Sangha, a neighbour also tried to intervene, but the couple did not let up.

“He tried stopping them, saying ‘don’t hurt them’. But they didn’t stop. They kept swearing. They kept shouting. They kept being angry, littering, throwing garbage on them, on their chairs, on their clothes,” she says.

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Gurlal Gill was playing with his friends during the racist encounter. The nine-year-old says he and his friends were frightened by the angry couple.

“We were playing, we were riding bikes back there, and they just littered and picked it up and started blaming it on us,” Gill says. “They even took fries out of the garbage and threw it at us, and it hit my face. Then they started swearing at us like four or six times. Then they went to the grandmas and started swearing at them.”

Gill says he felt like the couple was treating them like garbage.

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“They were being racist and they were not treating us how they want to be treated. They should treat the people how they want to be treated, not like garbage,” he says.

Sangha says an RCMP officer eventually attended, picked up some of the garbage and invited the aunties and kids to pick up some too — something which Sangha doesn’t agree with since she says it was the couple who threw the trash in the first place.

“The officer said, ‘Maybe they were just having a bad day.’ So saying racist, hurtful, harassing stuff is having a bad day? That’s not okay.”

Sangha says she wants the couple to be banned from the park.

Both NEWS 1130 and CityNews have reached out to Surrey RCMP several times about the incident, but they have yet to respond.

– With files from Bethlehem Mariam

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