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Another Hindu Temple Vandalised in Australia, Second in a Week

Victoria Police told The Quint that the damage includes “graffiti slogans of what appear to be a political nature.”

Published
Indian Diaspora
3 min read
Another Hindu Temple Vandalised in Australia, Second in a Week
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In the second attack on a Hindu temple in Australia’s Victoria province within a week, Shri Shiva Vishnu Mandir in Carrum Downs was vandalised with graffiti.

The police said that the incident occurred sometime during the intervening night of 15-16 January and was reported to the police on Wednesday, 18 January.

Victoria Police told The Quint in a statement that the damage includes “graffiti slogans of what appear to be a political nature.”

"Frankston Crime Investigation Unit detectives are investigating the incident."
Victoria Police to The Quint

This is a second incident of alleged vandalism at a temple in Victoria.

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In a tweet on Friday, Barry O’Farrell, Australia’s High Commissioner to India, expressed shock at the vandalism of two temples.

“Like India, Australia is a proud, multicultural country. We have been shocked at the vandalism of two Hindu temples in Melbourne, & Australian authorities are investigating. Our strong support for freedom of expression does not include hate speech or violence,” O’Farrell said, tagging External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Incident 1: BAPS Temple in Melbourne Vandalised

Earlier, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Melbourne’s Mill Park was vandalised with “anti-India graffiti” on 12 January.

The police told The Quint that “offenders graffitied a temple in Heaths Court in the early hours of the morning with what appears to be political and racial slogans.”

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Melbourne’s Mill Park was vandalised on 12 January

(Photo: Kamran Akhter/The Quint)

In a statement calling for peace, BAPS said it was “deeply saddened by the anti-India graffiti at the gates of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Mill Park, Melbourne by anti-social elements.”

“We are thankful to the appropriate authorities, including the governments of Australia and India as well as local community organisations, for their continued support,” the statement added.

 Incident 2: Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs Vandalised

According to a report in Australia Today website, the act of vandalism was noticed when the devotees came for 'darshan' as the three-day long "Thai Pongal" festival is being celebrated by the Tamil Hindu community.

"We are a Tamil minority group in Australia, a lot of us came as refugees to escape the religious persecution," Usha Senthilnathan, a long-time devotee of Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple, was quoted as saying by the website. 

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“Police were made aware of the incident, on Wednesday 18 January, with the incident believed to have occurred sometime overnight between 15-16 January,” Victoria Police told The Quint, adding that the damage includes graffiti slogans of political nature.

‘Police Takes Political or Racially Motivated Crime Seriously’

Victoria Police told The Quint that it takes any political or racially motivated crime seriously, including in the form of graffiti.

Police will often engage with their local council to ensure the swift removal of any racist or offensive material when a report is made, it said.

“Prejudice-motivated crime undermines community harmony, reduces people’s perception of safety and makes people feel isolated.”
Victoria Police to The Quint

Victoria Police spokesperson Kathryn Muffett said that they encourage anyone with information about this type of activity to report it to police, and urged anyone who witnessed the incident, has CCTV footage or information to contact the police.  

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from us-nri-news

Topics:  Hindu Temple   Melbourne   BAPS 

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