Two supporters of the Khalistan extremist movement intruded into Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, and vandalised the premises with “anti-Hindu and anti-India graffiti”. The incident occurred about half an hour past midnight yesterday, becoming the latest in a series of such attacks on Hindu places of worship.
According to the Facebook page of the temple, one male and one female jumped over the outside boundary and purposely pasted Khalistan referendum posters on the main entry gate and the entrance of the Surrey temple.
India has previously condemned the attacks on Hindu temples by Khalistan supporters in Canada and sought action against the perpetrators. This act was done to create an atmosphere of fear among Hindus, the temple said.
“These hate-mongers and attention-seekers have not even left the Hindu Temple and disgraced Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Surrey, by putting these posters on the mandir’s main door [and] that too by trespassing [on] the mandir’s property,” said the temple website.
This is not the first incident where Hindu temples have been vandalised in Canada. In April, BAPS Swaminarayan temple in Canada’s Ontario province was vandalised by unknown people with “anti-Hindu and anti-India graffiti”, in what is described by police as a “hate-motivated incident”. In January, the Gauri Shankar temple in Brampton was targeted with anti-India graffiti, causing outrage among the Indian community.
The Indian Consulate General in Toronto had said that the defacing of the temple had deeply hurt the sentiments of the Indian community in Canada. At least three similar acts of vandalism have been recorded in Canada last year.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has previously condemned the rise of hate crimes against Indians and anti-India activities by Khalistan supporters in Canada and sought action against the perpetrators.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that India asked its partner countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America not to give space to the “extremist Khalistani ideology” as it is “not good” for bilateral relations.