British Columbia·Photos

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit draws protesters in Vancouver

Several dozen protesters are being kept under a close watch by police in Vancouver this afternoon ahead of the arrival of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi wraps up 3-day tour of Canada with Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Police in Vancouver have corralled a group of protesters on a road near a Sikh temple ahead of the arrival of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this afternoon.

Modi is slated to arrive on Thursday afternoon for his last stop on a three-day tour of Canada.

Police are keeping a close eye on demonstrators, keeping them far away from the temple. One person was arrested for mischief and breach of the peace at the Ross Street Temple, according to Vancouver police.

Thousands are expected to turn out to watch the so-called rock-star politician and Prime Minister Stephen Harper visit the Sikh temple on Ross Street in Vancouver and the Laxmi Narayan Hindu temple in Surrey.

Tickets for both events are sold out and attendees for both events will have to go through extensive security before arriving at the sites. Police will be closing streets in Surrey for the visits.

Protesters, however, are also planning rallies to protest Modi's visit. About 25 groups have formed a coalition, saying that India needs to improve its record on human rights and economic inequality.

Two of the protesters told CBC News they consider Modi a criminal who shouldn't be allowed into Canada because of his handling of anti-Muslim riots in Gujurat, India in 2002 that resulted in hundreds deaths. Modi was eventually cleared of wrong doing in 2012 by the Supreme Court of India.The protesters also alleged his BJP government continues to discriminate against non-Hindus.

Opportunities for B.C.

Premier Christy Clark said she's excited about today's visit and excited about what Modi is doing in India, because he is going to change the face of that country forever and in doing so, he will change the balance of economies in the world.

Clark said India represents tremendous educational and economic opportunities for British Columbians,and this province's agricultural exports and technology will help Indians feed themselves and waste less food.

Modi was elected last year, and hopes to strengthen economic links between the two countries.

Harper's office said the visit involves extensive engagement with political, business and academic leaders in addition to robust interactions with the Indian diaspora.

Surrey road closures

  • Surrey RCMP will close 140 Street between 72 Avenue and 88 Avenue from 10 a.m. PT to approximately 6 p.m.
  • Local traffic will be permitted onto 140 Street from all feeder roads, however, access to 140 will be restricted from 88 and 72nd Avenue.
  • Residents are urged to use alternate routes to and from their homes.
  • There will be a secured area between Bear Creek Drive and 140 Street through to 84 Avenue and 140 Street where absolutely no vehicle or foot traffic will be permitted.

Vancouver police have not released details of road closures.

Liveblog: follow the visit with tweets from CBC reporters

With files from The Canadian Press