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Summerland Mayor calls for community support after family targeted with racist graffiti

Last Updated Jul 15, 2020 at 5:37 pm PDT

(Courtesy Abhishek Lekhi)

The Mayor of Summerland says there will be a community discussion on racism after a family was targeted in a hate crime

Abhishek Lekhi's family home was targeted by vandals, who spray-painted swastikas on the siding of the home

SUMMERLAND (NEWS 1130) – The Mayor of Summerland has called for a community meeting to discuss racism after a family had their house tagged with swastikas and other obscene graffiti earlier this week.

On Facebook, Toni Boot writes, “This was a targeted, personal attack and the RCMP are investigating this cowardly and violent act as a hate crime.”

On Tuesday, Abhishek Lekhi told NEWS1130 his parents were ‘heart-broken’ to discover the graffiti and broken windows at their home.

He and his two siblings, who also live in Vancouver, are currently in Summerland to help their parents fix their family home.

Boot goes on to say, “When one family is violated in this way, the people who live in their neighbourhood and all people who live in Summerland are violated.”

Boot also writes about the impact the possible hate crime has had on residents, writing “When one family is violated this way, the entire Indo-Canadian community and all communities of colour are violated.”

While Boot acknowledges the pain the vandals have caused, she also says there has been an outpouring of support for the Lekhi family, adding city councillors and city staff have been receiving calls from people expressing shock and offering up ways to help.

A special meeting called for Monday, July 20th will discuss how Summerland’s elected leaders can create space to have community conversations on racism.