Kitscoty RCMP are investigating after two semi-tractors were set ablaze in the town over the weekend.
On Sunday, April 10th, Kitscoty RCMP as well as the fire department responded to a call for service at approximately 4:30 a.m. Upon arrival, 2 semi-tractors parked side by side were in flames. According to Sergeant Juan Huss of the Kitscoty RCMP, “one was completely burned. The second one was partially burned, just because of the proximity to each other.”
Other media sources have reported the crime is suspected to be a hate crime due to the owner’s being a Muslim immigrant of Pakistan, and another incident that occurred days before the truck fires: unknown suspects spray painted the words, “Go back” on the family’s garage.
Victim, Abdul Mian, reportedly painted over the words and hung up Canadian flags.
According to the Calgary Metro, Mian has lived in Canada since 1997 and made a home for himself and his family in Kitscoty 6 years ago. All his children were born here and go to school in the small town.
“Everybody loves me here, as far as I know … until now. I never expected this,” said Mian, talking to the Metro. “This community is home. Moving around is not easy. Our kids go to school here, for crying out loud. We love this school. We volunteer. Where would we go? We can’t afford to go.”
Mian’s nephew, Mohsin Kamran, told the Metro he feels it is a hate crime, that the family was targeted because they are Muslim.
Sergeant Huss said, “We attempted to talk to the homeowner at the time, however, I think he was emotionally upset and didn’t want to talk to the members at the time. So we asked him to come in yesterday and he didn’t come in. So we’ve got a couple members that went up there to talk with him and find out some more information in regards to the semi-tractor units.”
Huss also said he is aware the story has been circulated on social media but the Detachment cannot confirm, at this time, whether or not it is a hate crime. RCMP are in the initial stages of investigation, talking to the family, and will send out a news release when they have enough information to do so.