Angry Sikhs attack envoy in Winnipeg

Globe and Mail
July 19, 1984

WINNIPEG (CP) — Sikh demonstrators who punched the acting Indian High Commissioner to Canada and pelted him with eggs during a melee yesterday will not be charged, a Winnipeg police spokesman said.

The Sikhs set upon Kalarickal Pranchu Fabian as RCMP officers in charge of security tried to escort him from a downtown garage to a waiting car.

"Kill that —," screamed one demonstrator as he rushed with about 30 others past city and RCMP plainclothes officers.

The Winnipeg police official said he had no reports of any violence that would call for charges to be laid. An RCMP official in Winnipeg said charges would be the responsibility of city police.

When Mr. Fabian got free of the crowd, he went by car to a private lunch at the University of Manitoba. Professors who lunched with him said he was not hurt, and even joked about the incident.

At the time, however, Mr. Fabian appeared shaken and his face was splattered with broken eggs from the attack in a parking lot behind the Winnipeg Free Press building. Mr. Fabian was at the Free Press for an interview.

Glenn Olsen, a Winnipeg Free Press photographer, was knocked to his knees by a wayward blow from a policeman's walkie-talkie during the incident and was taken to hospital. He was later released.

Police decided to take Mr. Fabian out by a back door of the news­paper's truck maintenance garage after demonstrators surrounded the building.

As the slightly built Indian Government official emerged into the parking lot, however, the angry Sikhs surged past police, screaming and pounding the waiting car with their fists and with long sticks. Several of them carried egg cartons and at least three eggs were smashed into the official's face.

After Mr. Fabian was pushed by police into the car, a demonstrator jumped on the hood and was carried for about 10 metres before falling off, apparently uninjured.

There were no demonstrators or incidents at the university, where Mr. Fabian had lunch with the members of the Indo-Canadian Institute.

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