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PM Modi 'Regrets' Temple Attack Reports, Australia PM Assures Safety Of Indians

In his media statement, Modi said it is a matter of regret that reports of attacks on temples have been coming regularly from Australia over the past few weeks and that it is natural that such news worries everyone in India

PM Modi-Australian PM meet
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday raised with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese the issue of recent attacks on temples in Australia. The matter came up for discussion during their wide-ranging dialogue that was aimed at expanding overall ties.

In his media statement, Modi said it is a matter of regret that reports of attacks on temples have been coming regularly from Australia over the past few weeks and that it is natural that such news worries everyone in India. "I conveyed these feelings and concerns to Prime Minister Albanese and he has assured me that the safety of the Indian community is of special priority for him," Modi said in presence of the Australian prime minister.

"Our teams will be in regular contact on this matter, and will cooperate as much as possible," he said. 

Vandalism acts in Australia on Hindu temples

In January, within a fortnight, three Hindu temples became 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. 

On January 12, Vandals desecrated the Swaminarayan temple in the Mill Park area of Melbourne with anti-India slogans on the temple walls. Four days later, the historic Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs, Victoria, was vandalised with anti-Hindu graffiti. Following this, on January 23, the ISKCON Temple in Albert Park, Melbourne was defaced with anti-India slogans of 'Khalistan Zindabad' and 'Hindustan Murdabad.'

Indian high commission in Canberra took a stance by standing "strongly" against the acts of vandalisation and said that it raised its concerns with the Australian government repeatedly.

Modi said he discussed maritime security in the Indo-Pacific and ways to enhance mutual security with his Australian counterpart. "We discussed mutual cooperation to develop reliable and strong global supply chains," Modi said.

Prime Minister Modi also said that both sides are working on a comprehensive economic agreement. "In the field of defence, we have made remarkable agreements in the last few years, including logistics support for each other's militaries," Modi said.

In his comments, Albanese said Modi and he agreed on the conclusion of India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement as soon as possible. "I am hopeful that we will be able to finalise it this year," he said. The Australian prime minister arrived in Delhi on Thursday evening after concluding his engagements in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

(With inputs from PTI)

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