In the most recent act of vandalism against Hindu temples in Australia before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the nation later this month, anti-India graffiti was painted on the walls of a well-known Hindu temple in Sydney on Friday, allegedly by pro-Khalistani elements.
The incident took place at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Rosehill, Sydney.
According to the Australia Today newspaper, temple officials discovered a Khalistani flag hanging on the gate and reported the incident to NSW police.
“We are deeply saddened by the anti-India graffiti on the walls of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Rosehill, Sydney by anti-social elements,” the temple said in a statement.
“We are further disheartened that BAPS temples in Australia have been targeted. For the last 23 years, the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir has been a cornerstone of the local community and a prominent Hindu Temple which, like all BAPS temples worldwide, is an abode of peace and harmony, equality, selfless service and universal Hindu values,” it said.
As soon as he learned about the incident of Hindu Hatred, Parramatta’s Member of Parliament, Andrew Charlton, went to the BAPS Temple, according to the Australia Today newspaper.
Charlton assisted in repainting the wall along with temple officials.
“This morning, the BAPS temple in my electorate of Parramatta was vandalised by religious extremists. I am deeply shocked and saddened by this act of mindless vandalism. Everyone in Australia has the right to practice their faith in peace,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
“At this time, the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha prays for peace and unity and has appealed to all devotees and well-wishers in the community to maintain peace. We are thankful to the local police command, the Department of Home Affairs, State and Federal Members of Parliament, the Indian High Commission and the Consul General of Sydney for their continued support,” the temple said.