New Delhi: Strongly condemning the recent vandalisation of Hindu Temples in Australia, India, on its 74th Republic Day, asked Canberra to ensure safety and security of its community there, and take swift action to prevent further such incidents.
“The frequency and impunity with which the vandals appear to be operating are alarming, as are the graffiti which include glorification of anti-Indian terrorists,” the Indian High Commission in Australia said in a strongly-worded statement on Thursday.
“These incidents are clear attempts to sow hatred and division among the peaceful multi-faith and multi-cultural Indian-Australian community.”
Between January 12 to 23, three Hindu temples in Melbourne were defaced with anti-India graffiti in Melbourne by Khalistan supporters.
The vandalisation of Hare Krishna Temple in Melbourne’s Albert Park came days after the walls of Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs and BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Melbourne’s northern suburb of Mill Park were defaced with anti-India slogans.
“Signals that pro-Khalistan elements are stepping up their activities in Australia, actively aided and abetted by members of proscribed terrorist organisations such as the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and other inimical agencies from outside Australia, have been evident for some time,” the statement read.
In addition, the Indian High Commission in Canberra also conveyed its concerns to the government about the referendums in Melbourne and Sydney, announced by the proscribed Khalistan group, Sikhs for Justice.
India said that its concerns have repeatedly been shared with the Australian government, and hoped that not only will the perpetrators be brought to justice but suitable action will also be taken to prevent further attempts.
“It has been highlighted to the Australian government to ensure the safety and security of members of the Indian community and their properties in Australia, and to not allow the use of Australian territory for activities detrimental to the territorial integrity, security and national interest of India,” the statement said.
Indians in Australia said they are “angry, scared and dismayed by the blatant display of religious hatred towards the peaceful Hindu community by Khalistan supporters”.
According to census data, Hinduism is the fastest-growing religion in Australia.
In the 2021 Australian census, Hinduism grew by 55.3 per cent to 684,002 people.