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US condemns vandalism of Hindu temple in California

2023-12-23 17:38:33

The US State Department on Saturday took note of the latest vandalism of a Hindu religious place and condemned the act. The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple in Newark, California was vandalised with pro-Khalistani slogans, prompting Indian authorities, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s attention.

“We condemn the vandalism of Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple in California. We welcome efforts by the Newark Police Department to ensure that those responsible are held accountable,” the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs said in a post on social media platform X.

In an emailed statement to PTI, the City of Newark Police Department in Newark, California, said that on Friday at approximately 8:35 am, Newark Police received a report of graffiti at the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple.

Officers responded and met with temple leaders, who described the vandalism as meant to intimidate them.

“Based on the content of the graffiti, it is believed that the defacement was a targeted act, and the vandalism is being investigated as a possible hate crime,” the statement said.

According to images on social media, the word ‘Khalistan’ was spray-painted on a signpost outside the temple along with other objectionable graffiti. Images also showed hateful slogans against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the wall of the temple.

Meanwhile, S Jaishankar took note of the incident and reiterated that extremists and separatists should not be given space.

The Indian Consulate in San Francisco also condemned the defacing of the temple and said it has pressed the US authorities for a quick probe and prompt action against the culprits.

Published By:

Srishti Jha

Published On:

Dec 23, 2023

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