'Like India...': What Australia said over attacks on Hindu temples
On Monday, it was reported that the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Australia's Carrum Downs had been vandalised with anti-Hindu graffiti.
The Australian High Commissioner to India on Friday expressed shock over recent reports that two Hindu temples had been vandalised in Melbourne and stressed that the authorities were investigating the incident.
Barry O'Farrell tweeted: "Like India, Australia is a proud, multicultural country. We have been shocked at the vandalism of two Hindu temples in Melbourne, and Australian authorities are investigating" and tagged India's foreign minister S Jaishankar and the ministry. "Our strong support for freedom of expression does not include hate speech or violence," he said.
On Thursday, foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the Indian and Australian goverments had discussed the matter. "Recently a couple of temples have been vandalised in Australia. We condemned these incidents. Both are near Melbourne. We strongly condemned these actions," he said, adding, "These actions have also been publicly condemned by Australian leaders, community leaders and religious associations there."
Bagchi - addressing a weekly media briefing - also said the Indian Consulate General in Melbourne has raised the issue with local police. He said India had also requested a prompt investigation, prosecution of the guilty, and measures to prevent similar incidents.
On Monday, it was reported that the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Australia's Carrum Downs had been vandalised with anti-Hindu graffiti. The act was noticed by devotees who came for 'darshan' during the three-day 'Thai Pongal' festival being celebrated by Australia's Tamil Hindu community, according to news agency ANI, citing The Australia Today.
This act of vandalism was just a week after the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in the country's Mill Park was defaced with anti-India and anti-Hindu graffiti.
(With inputs from agencies)