A Hindu temple in Australia has been vandalized just weeks ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country on May 23.
The front wall of the BAPS Swaminarayan temple in the Rosehill suburb of western Sydney was spray-painted with the message “Declare Modi Terrorist” early on Friday morning, The Australia Today reported.
“When I came this morning for prayers I saw ugly vandalism on the front wall,” Sejal Patel, a daily visitor to the temple, said. Temple authorities also found a Khalistani flag hanging on the gate and reported the matter to New South Wales police.
According to the report, police officers visited the temple and have been provided with the CCTV footage of the attack. This incident comes after a brief almost two months of Khalistan activities in Australia.
In March, the boundary wall of the Shree Laxmi Narayan Temple in Brisbane was vandalized. In January alone, three Hindu temples in Melbourne were defaced with anti-India graffiti and pro-Bhindranwale slogans by Khalistani supporters, and later, temple priests received threatening calls to raise ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ slogans.
Following the vandalization of Hindu temples, Khalistani flags were found attached to the Indian consulate in Brisbane in February — just days after External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s visit to Australia.
India has time and again registered a strong protest with the Australian government asking it to take swift action and bring perpetrators to the book.
During his visit to India this year, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese assured Modi of strict action, saying that the safety of the Indian community is a priority of his government.
Modi is scheduled to travel to Japan, Papua New Guinea, and Australia in May with the power-packed visit concluding Down Under where he will attend the Quad summit from May 23-24 in Sydney.
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