Montreal police arrested five people, including the daughter of an elected politician, after a round of raids targeted suspects wanted in connection with disruptive spring protests that paralyzed public transit service and vandalized a minister's office.
Police searched eight homes Thursday morning, in search of 11 people they suspect are connected to smoke bombs set off underground last month, and vandalism at former education minister Line Beauchamp's office.
Among those detained was Yalda Machouf-Khadir, daughter of Amir Khadir, the sole Québec solidaire member at Quebec's national assembly legislature.
Khadir said his daughter, 19, was taken into police custody from his Montreal apartment on St-Hubert Street just after 6 a.m., when officers showed up with a warrant.
Yalda participated at a sit-in at Beauchamp's office where some windows were smashed, Khadir said. That's why he believes she was arrested.
Montreal police Const. Yannick Ouimet said warrants will be issued for any outstanding suspects.
Charges to be laid will vary. They include mischief, break and enter, conspiracy, and the serious crime of committing a terrorist hoax which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.
The police investigation follows a series of events that took place as spring student protests escalated in Montreal, including:
- Smoke bombs that shut down Montreal's metro system in May.
- Objects thrown on the underground train tracks.
- Vandalism at the University of Montreal.
- Vandalism at Beauchamp's office, where two windows were smashed.
Police refused to remove shoes
Amir Khadir told reporters in Quebec City that his wife called early Thursday morning to tell him police were at the house and their daughter had been arrested.
Police officers were asked to do the polite thing as guests and take off their shoes but they refused the request from his spouse and walked in, Khadir said.
He called his daughter Yalda a "reasonable person." If there are laws that people believe are unjust, such as Quebec's divisive emergency Bill 78, they should disobey those laws in a peaceful way, he added.
Khadir said his daughters were raised in a socially-conscious home, educated to "strive for justice, for social equality," and he's proud of his children.
But justice "must take its course" and Khadir said he's satisfied "to see that they don't treat my daughter differently from others."
"It's not because I'm a member of the national assembly that she should be protected in any means or any ways."
Machouf-Khadir was among a group of 21 people arrested in May for blocking Montreal's Jacques Cartier Bridge during a protest opposing Power Corp. They were charged with mischief, conspiracy and obstructing police
It was unclear what charges she may face.
Her arrest came just two days after Khadir was himself arrested, and released with a fine.