‘Seeing great responsiveness from Australian authorities’: Indian envoy on vandalism of Hindu temple
Earlier during his visit to India, Australian PM Albanese had reiterated that Australia will act with "full force" to prevent attacks against Hindu temples.
Indian High Commissioner to Australia Manpreet Vohra on Monday appreciated Australian authorities for their "great responsiveness" on the vandalism of Hindu temples and said that he is confident to see a better situation.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, the Indian High Commissioner to Australia said, "We are seeing great responsiveness from the Australian authorities to our concerns. We are confident that they will go after those who violate the law and indulge in these hate crimes. I am quite confident that going forward, we will see a better situation."
After completing his Papua New Guinea trip, PM Modi is scheduled to visit Australia today.
Responding to whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese will discuss the issue of vandalism of Hindu temples, Vohra said, "Vandalism of Hindu temples has been a concern in India and he has also raised a concern with Australian PM Anthony Albanese when he came to India. And we received a response from him as well."
Earlier during his visit to India in March, Albanese had reiterated that Australia will act with "full force" to prevent attacks against Hindu temples.
The issue was raised by PM Modi in the Hyderabad House where the two sides held a formal dialogue. Modi had said the attacks on Hindu temples in Australia had "worried" India.
Albanese gave assurance to PM Modi of taking "every action through our police and also our security agencies," to "make sure that anyone responsible for this faces the full force of the law.
"I gave him the assurance that Australia is a country that respects people's faith. That we don't tolerate the sort of extreme actions and attacks that we've seen on religious buildings, be they Hindu temples, mosques, synagogues, or churches. This has no place in Australia. We're a tolerant multicultural nation, and there is no place in Australia for this activity," said the Australian PM.
In the past few months, the attacks on the Hindu temple have increased. In March, Shree Laxmi Narayan Temple in Brisbane was attacked. Earlier, in January, Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Australia's Carrum Downs was also vandalised with anti-Hindu graffiti.
A week before the above incident, on January 12, the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Australia's Mill Park was smeared with anti-India and anti-Hindu graffiti.
During the interview, the Indian High Commissioner to Australia also spoke about the education and trade partnership between the two countries
Vohra said that he is happy and proud of the fact that the first two foreign universities, that were announced earlier about the opening of two campuses in India, are both Australian University: University of Deakin and University of Wollongong.
He also said about the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), which was implemented on December 29, 2022.
"...ECTA was signed last year and has entered into force also. We have already started negotiations very intensely on the next step which is the full comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA). We are committed, along with Australia, to conclude those negotiations, hopefully possibly, by the end of this year," says Indian High Commissioner to Australia Manpreet Vohra.
PM Modi is scheduled to visit Australia from May 22-24, 2023.
On PM Modi's visit to Australia, Indian High Commissioner to Australia Manpreet Vohra, said, "He has a very substantive round of bilateral discussions with PM Albanese. He will be following up on the discussions that went on when PM Albanese was in India two months ago. We expect some outcomes & announcements."