“Khalistani supporters” have allegedly vandalised a Hindu temple in Australia with anti-India graffiti, a media report said on Tuesday, in the second attack on a temple in Victoria state within a week.
The vandalism of the historic Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs, Victoria, took place on Monday, The Australia Today website reported.
This act of vandalism was noticed when the devotees came for ‘darshan’ as the three-day long “Thai Pongal” festival is being celebrated by the Tamil Hindu community.
Usha Senthilnathan, a long-time devotee of Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple said, “We are a Tamil minority group in Australia, a lot of us came as refugees to escape the religious persecution.”
“This is my place of worship and it’s not acceptable to me that these Khalistan supporters are vandalising it with their hate messages without any fear,” she said.
“I urge Premier Dan Andrews and Victoria Police to take strict action against these goons who are trying to scare the Victorian Hindu community,” added Senthilnathan.
Hindu Council of Australia’s Victoria chapter President Makrand Bhagwat told the website, “I can’t tell you how upset I am for witnessing a second Hindu Temple vandalised for Khalistan propaganda. Our Temples vandalism is deplorable and should not be tolerated by the wider community.”
Melbourne Hindu community member Sachin Mahate said, “If these Khalistan supporters have the courage they should go and draw graffiti on the Victorian Parliament building rather than target peaceful Hindu communities’ religious places.”
Victorian Liberal Party MP Brad Battin said, “In no way, our future can be built on hate when it has been built on working together for so long. There is no place in Victoria or Australia for this kind of behaviour that we are seeing here.”
“Victoria is and will remain the best multicultural state in the world as long as people learn to work together not against each other,” added Brad Battin.
On January 12, the Swaminarayan temple in Melbourne was defaced by ‘anti-social elements’ with anti-India graffiti.
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha Australia in a statement appealing for peace has said that they are deeply saddened by this incident.
“We are 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 BAPS temple in Mill Park, like all temples of BAPS worldwide, is an abode of peace, harmony, equality, selfless service, and universal Hindu values,” they said in a statement.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)