ibnlive » World

Feb 26, 2008 at 12:16pm IST

Indian called 'Paki' in Canada poll blitz

Toronto: The word "Paki", once used against South Asian immigrants in Britain, has made its first appearance in Canada's election fray.

Thirty-three-year-old Aman Gill, an Indian-origin candidate who is contesting an Edmonton seat in Alberta province for the March 3 polls, had her campaign signboard at her office sprayed with racial graffiti.

Gill, who is contesting for the Liberal Party - which has not ruled the province since 1921 - said the miscreants painted her campaign sign with the word "Paki" in black some time Friday night.

FLAGGING OFF A ROW: Canada goes to polls on March 3.

The word was written next to her name and picture.

Her campaign staff found the racial word on arrival at the office on Saturday morning.

"It took me, I would say, at least an hour to overcome that," she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

According to reports, Gill was so disturbed by the incident that she made sure her 10-year-old daughter didn't see the disfigured signboard.

"In think she will be quite hurt," the National Post quoted a distraught Gill as saying.

"To me, I don't understand. Why would someone do that? This is low thinking. We live in Canada. You're trying to make change... you're working hard. And I'm not sure why someone would do that. (I am) just disappointed," she said.

"This is my country. This is my place. We all deserve respect. Why would someone ever do something this low to someone? I thought this was over years and years ago, honestly. We live in a multicultural country," Gill said.

Disfiguring posters and uprooting election signboards of opponents are quite common in Canadian elections. But racial slurs have been unheard of, till now.

The police are treating it as a hate crime.

This is Gill's second shot at entering the provincial assembly from the Edmonton-Mill Creek riding seat. She lost the last election by just 800 votes.

A mother of two, Gill came to Canada from India in 1993.

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