The Consulate General of India in Toronto on Tuesday condemned the defacing of a Hindu temple in Mississauga, a city located next to Toronto, with “anti-India graffiti”.
A picture shared by the Hindu American Foundation on Twitter showed the white exterior walls of the temple spray-painted with slogans criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and praising Khalistan leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Scroll could not verify the image independently.
“We strongly condemn the defacing of Ram Mandir in Missisauga with anti-India graffiti,” Consulate General of India in Toronto said. “We have requested Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action on perpetrators.”
Mississauga-Malton MP Iqwinder S Gaheer said he was saddened by the incident and is in touch with the temple authorities. “Spray paint was used to vandalise the walls of the temple,” Gaheer tweeted. “The individual(s) responsible should be found and held accountable. As of yet, I am directly in touch with Mandir management to determine a path forward.”
The mayor of Brampton, Patrick Brown, called it an incident of “hate-motivated vandalism” on Tuesday, reported The Indian Express.
“The Peel Police and Chief of Peel Regional Police Nishan Duraiappah are taking this potential hate crime very seriously,” Brown said. “Twelve Division has carriage of the investigation and they will find those responsible. Religious freedom is a Charter right in Canada and we will do everything we can to make sure everyone is safe in their place of worship.”
The development comes months after another temple in Toronto was vandalised with anti-India graffiti. At the time Canada MP Chandra Arya claimed that the temple was vandalised by Khalistani extremists.