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Posted at: May 26, 2018, 2:01 AM; last updated: May 26, 2018, 2:02 AM (IST)TORONTO BLAST

Diaspora left shaken, ‘never expected this’

Varinder Singh

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 25

The first-ever IED blast in the peaceful Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has left the Punjab diaspora and others in a state of shock.

The GTA and its suburbs — Brampton, Etobiko and Mississauga — have thus far been considered peaceful. Mississauga has a large Muslim population with Indians, particularly Punjabis, co-existing with Canadians and Pakistanis for decades.

“None of us had ever expected this kind of an incident at a place considered safe for all. We have never witnessed or heard of communal tension here,” Manan Gupta, a Brampton-based community activist told The Tribune over the phone.

Ajmer Singh, a trader from Etobiko, said the incident had left him shattered. “We have been sending our children to restaurants till late in the night without fear. We’ll have to be cautious now. I have never heard of a blast during my 25 years of stay here,” said Ajmer Singh. 

Sukhwant Thethi, a Brampton-based Liberal Party leader, said: “I am most concerned for the patrons and staff of my friends at Bombay Bhel in Mississauga. I thank all first responders for their quick action.”

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