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No charges in desecration of Komagata Maru monument

No charges will be laid against a man accused of urinating against the Komagata Maru memorial in Coal Harbour. - twitter.com
No charges will be laid against a man accused of urinating against the Komagata Maru memorial in Coal Harbour.
— image credit: twitter.com

A man who was photographed urinating on the Komagata Maru Memorial in downtown Vancouver will not be charged, Vancouver Police say.

The incident happened Dec. 3 amid an argument between the young man and an Indian tourist, and sparked outrage on social media.

VPD spokesman Sgt. Randy Fincham said police interviewed the suspect but charges won't be laid after it was determined his actions do not constitute a criminal offence.

"While the actions of an individual may be offensive and disrespectful, it does not make those actions criminal," Fincham said.

He said urinating in public is not a criminal offence on its own and it was also concluded that a bylaw ticket would not be appropriate either.

Fincham said the man was made aware of the memorial's cultural significance and that his actions were insensitive and inappropriate.

The VPD had initially indicated the incident might be investigated as a hate crime.

The Komagata Maru incident is a black mark in B.C. history.

The passenger ship's 376 would-be South Asian immigrants were blocked from disembarking in Vancouver for two months in 2014 and were ultimately forced to return to India.

 

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