Police were called out on Sunday afternoon to monitor a protest among members of the South Asian community in Abbotsford.
The incident began at about 1 p.m., when a controversial minister from India was scheduled to speak at a public forum at a local banquet hall in the 31800 block of South Fraser Way.
About 450 people showed up, but there was not enough room for everyone and some tensions arose between the two opposing groups.
Const. Marcus Senft said police recommended to organizers that the event be cancelled “due to the volatility” and the size of the crowd.
The crowd then dispersed and moved onto the sidewalk, where they peacefully protested. Police shut down one lane of traffic for safety reasons, and the protest ended at about 3 p.m.
Moninder Singh, one of the protestors, said the group was opposing human rights violations against Sikh people in the Punjab. He said one of the ministers slated to attend the Abbotsford forum is among those responsible for these abuses.
“We are out here in solidarity with the Sikhs of Punjab and to show these people (the forum guests) that they are not welcome in Canada – a place that respects human rights,” Singh said.
He said the scheduled speakers, including the controversial minister, did not show up for the forum.