By: Chandrashekar Bhat
A PROMINENT Hindu temple was attacked by pro-Khalistan supporters on Saturday (4) in the latest instance of vandalism in Australia.
The incident took place at the Shree Laxmi Narayan Temple in Brisbane.
“Temple priest and devotees called this morning and notified me about the vandalism on the boundary wall of our temple,” temple president Satinder Shukla was quoted as saying by The Australia Today website.
“We have informed the Queensland police officers, and they assured to ensure the safety of temple and devotees.”
Sarah Gates, director of Hindu Human Rights, said that the latest hate crime is an attempt to “terrorise” Australian Hindus.
“This latest hate crime is a pattern of Sikhs For Justice globally, clearly attempting to terrorise Australian Hindus. With a barrage of propaganda, illegal signs and cyberbullying, the organisation intends to present all-pervasive threats, fear and intimidation,” Gates said.
Gates later tweeted an image of the Hindu community fighting back after the attack on the temple.
Community members with the temple committee cleaned anti-Hindu hate-filled graffiti.
“Hindustan Zindabad,” she tweeted with a picture.
“Khalistan supporters are terrorising the Australian Hindu community and making it a very traumatising experience to practice our religion and visit temples,” a long-time resident of the suburb said.
This is the fourth incident of vandalism against Hindu temples in two months in Australia.
On January 23, the walls of the revered ISCKON temple in Melbourne’s Albert Park were vandalised with graffiti “Hindustan Murdabad”.
On January 16, the historic Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs, Victoria, was vandalised in a similar manner.
On January 12, the Swaminarayan temple in Melbourne was defaced by ‘anti-social elements’ with anti-India graffiti.
India has repeatedly condemned the vandalism against the Hindu temples and raised the issue with the Australian government.
During his visit to Australia last month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Australian counterpart Penny Wong and emphasised the need for vigilance against “radical activities” targeting the Indian community in Australia.