12 January morning came as a shock to the Hindu community as they woke up to ugly scenes on the walls of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Melbourne’s northern suburb of Mill Park.
Mr Patel (who does not want to tell his first name fearing repercussions) told The Australia Today, I visit the temple every morning before going to work.
“When I reached the temple today morning all walls were coloured with graffiti of Khalistani hatred towards Hindus.”
Temple walls are painted with “Hindu-stan Murdabad” which means death to Hindu-place.
Mr Patel says,
“I am angry, scared and dismayed by the blatant display of religious hatred towards the peaceful Hindu community by Khalistan supporters.”
BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir provide a statement to The Australia Today, “We are deeply saddened and shocked by these acts of vandalism and hate.”
“BAPS has always been committed to peaceful coexistence and dialogue with all faiths and peoples.
We have apprised the authorities and are cooperating fully with them.”
“We offer our prayers for peace and harmony and will provide a fuller statement in due course,” ended the statement.
Khalistan supporters have also written praises of an Indian terrorist Bhindrawala responsible for killing more than twenty thousand Hindus and Sikhs as a ‘Martyr’.
Hindu Council of Australia’s Victoria state President Makrand Bhagwat told The Australia Today, “Any kind of hatred and vandalism against places of worship is not acceptable and we condemn it.”
“And this kind of activity is in violation of the racial and religious tolerance act of victoria we demand Victoria Police and Premier Dan Andrews to take strong action against the perpetrators.”
We will definitely raise this matter with the Victorian Multicultural Commission and the Multicultural Minister of Victoria because the death threat to Hindus is a very serious matter as the community is in fear of these Khalistan supporters.
Evan Mulholland, Liberal MP for the Northern Metropolitan Region told The Australia Today, “This vandalism is deeply distressing for Victoria’s peaceful Hindu community, especially at this holy time.”
“Religious hatred of this kind has no place in Victoria.”
Hindu community leaders across Victoria are standing with the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir community and condemning the attack on Temple.
The Australia Today can reveal that the Khalistani extremists recorded a video of their despicable act of vandalising the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir. And now they are sharing it on social media claiming it to be their brave act.
Our editorial team has decided not to put that video here however here is a screenshot.
Lily D’Ambrosio, Member for Mill Park and Minister in the Victorian government, told The Australia Today that “there is no place in our community for such attacks”.
“I have reached out to the Mill Park Mandir today to express my concern with the attack on the temple. The Mandir is a very important site for worship across broader Melbourne and is used to host many events that grow a better understanding of the rich diversity of our community amongst all of us. I have visited on many occasions and hope that the appropriate authorities can identify those responsible and bring them to account.”
Meanwhile, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha Australia in a statement appealing for peace has added that the whole community is “deeply saddened by the anti-India graffiti at the gates of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Mill Park, Melbourne, Australia by anti-social elements.”
The Australia Today has connected multiple stakeholders for comments, we will update the story as it happens.