Hundreds of believers, many without masks, converged in front of the huge Sikh temple in the borough of LaSalle despite the health instructions, early Saturday evening in Montreal.
Around 7 p.m., it was possible to count at least 400 faithful outside the religious establishment. While the majority wore a face cover, a few did not.
Within the Sikh community, it is ensured that the number of people allowed to enter the interior of the temple never exceeded 25 during the day, as stipulated in the regulations for places of worship in the red zone.
“The police came twice today and told us there was no problem,” said Santokh Singh, a volunteer from Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar temple.
In a telephone interview with the QMI Agency, he explained that Sikhs marked the festival of Diwali on Saturday, celebrated by all religions in India, and that people outside lined up to go and pray inside.
In his opinion, it was the police who had the task of ensuring that the sanitary regulations were observed outside, and not the temple officials.
“What more can we do?” Singh said, adding that the temple requires people to wear the mask.
Within minutes of the interview, police arrived at the scene and ordered the crowd to disperse or face fines.
At around 8 p.m., there was no longer any sign of a gathering in the area.
In the middle of the evening, the QMI Agency was still awaiting a comment from the Police Department of the City of Montreal.