Following a series of reported vandalism of Hindu temples in Australia's Melbourne, the Indian high commission in Canberra on Thursday took a stance by standing "strongly" against the acts of vandalisation. Within a fortnight, three Hindu temples have been the targets of vandalism in Australia's Victoria state. "Kalistani supporters" have been alleged responsible for the anti-India graffiti and attacks on temples as per media reports.
The Australi Today website reported that the walls of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple also known as the Hare Krishna Temple in Melbourne's Albert Park were found by the temple management stained with graffiti written "Hindustan Murdabad".
“The High Commission of India strongly condemns the deeply disturbing incidents of vandalisation, including of three Hindu temples in Melbourne in recent weeks. The frequency and impunity with which the vandals appear to be operating are alarming, as are the graffiti which include glorification of anti-Indian terrorists. These incidents are clear attempts to sow hatred and division among the peaceful multi-faith and multi-cultural Indian-Australian community,” the official high commission statement said.
The statement further said that occurrence of such incidents indicated the rise of pro-khalistani activities in Australia which are actively being aided and abetted by outlawed terrorist outfits like the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and “other inimical agencies from outside Australia, have been evident for some time”. The High Commission also said that concerns about the 'referendum' in Melbourne and Sydney announced by Sikhs for Justice have been raised and conveyed to the Australian Government in the backdrop of hate-sowing activities.
Calling such episodes deeply disturbing, the commission said that India has raised its concerns with the Australian government repeatedly. “It is hoped that not only will the perpetrators be brought to justice but suitable action will also be taken to prevent further attempts,” it added.
“In addition, our concerns about the so-called referendum in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, announced by the proscribed organization, the Sikhs for Justice, have been conveyed to the Australian Government. It has been highlighted to the Australian Government to ensure the safety and security of members of the Indian community and their properties in Australia, and to not allow the use of Australian territory for activities detrimental to the territorial integrity, security, and national interest of India,” the statement read.
A timeline of the vandalism acts in Australia on Hindu temples:
January 12- Vandals desecrated the Swaminarayan temple in the Mill Park area of Melbourne with anti-India slogans on the temple walls.
January 16- the historic Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs, Victoria, was vandalised on Monday, was vandalised with Anti-Hindu graffiti, the second incident in a week. Australia Today quoted the Hindu Council of Australia’s Victoria chapter President Makrand Bhagwat saying, “I can’t tell you how upset I am for witnessing a second Hindu Temple vandalised for Khalistan propaganda.”
January 23- The ISKCON Temple in Albert Park, Melbourne was defaced with anti-India slogans of 'Khalistan Zindabad' and 'Hindustan Murdabad.' The miscreants had also hailed slain Khalistani supporter, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, as a martyr.