India raised vandalisation of Hindu temples with Australia, asks to expedite probe against perpetrators

"We have requested expeditious investigation action against the perpetrators and of course measures to prevent such incidents in future."

India condemned the vandalisation of Hindu temples in Australia and said that the matter has been raised with the Australian government in Canberra and asked for expeditious investigation against the perpetrators.

Responding to a media query regarding the vandalisation and graffiti being written on Hindu temples, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We are actually aware of the couples of temples that have been vandalised in Australia. We condemn these incidents.”

“If I remember correctly, both of them are actually near Melbourne in Victoria. We strongly condemn this action. These actions have been publicly condemned by Australian leaders, community leaders, and religious associations there.”

This statement came after the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Australia’s Carrum Downs was vandalised with anti-Hindu graffiti on Monday.

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He also said,

“Our Consulate General in Australia has taken the matter with the local police. We have requested expeditious investigation action against the perpetrators and of course measures to prevent such incidents in future. The matter has also been taken up with the Australian Government, both in Canberra and New Delhi. And we are looking forward to the action that we have requested.”

The act came to notice when The Australia Today reported on Monday, January 16 after temple devotees came for ‘darshan’ amid the three-day long “Thai Pongal” festival which is being celebrated by Australia’s Tamil Hindu community.

Usha Senthilnathan a devotee of Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple told The Australia Today, “We are a Tamil minority group in Australia, a lot of us came as refugees to escape the religious persecution.”

Minister for Immigration Andrew Giles is the Federal Member of Scullin, the electorate where BAPS Swaminarayan Temple is situated.

Minister Giles issued a statement condemning the Hindu Temple attack, I am shocked and saddened to hear about the mindless vandalism against the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Mill Park as the community gathers to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of his holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

“BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir has been an integral part of the Scullin community… My office will provide assistance to the members of the BAPS community through these difficult times.”

Member of Federal Parliament Julian Leeser also issued a statement of solidarity with the Victorian Hindu community, “I am very sad to read of the graffiti at the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha Australia in Melbourne.”

“Attacks on places of worship strike at the very heart of the freedom of worship which Australians should all be able to enjoy. Regardless of the faith community under attack, we must
have a zero-tolerance approach to such conduct,”

He added.
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“I know the BAPS community well and have regularly visited their mandir in Rosehill. This attack is a cruel blow coming as it does during a time of global celebration of the centenary of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj,” Mr Leeser said.

The Australia Today first reported that on the evening of January 15 2023, Khalistan supporters tried to draw support for their referendum through a car rally in Melbourne. However, they failed miserably as less than two hundred people gathered out of an almost 60,000-strong Melbourne community.

This came a week after the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Australia’s Mill Park was smeared with anti-India and anti-Hindu graffiti.

Patel, an onlooker who did not want to reveal his first name, shared how he witnessed the vandalised walls of the temple when he visited the site.

“When I reached the temple today morning all walls were coloured with graffiti of Khalistani hatred towards Hindus.”

He added, “I am angry, scared and dismayed by the blatant display of religious hatred towards the peaceful Hindu community by Khalistan supporters.”