India slams vandalisation of three Hindu temples in Australia
Melbourne: India on Thursday strongly condemned the recent vandalisation of three Hindu temples here and the graffiti on them which included the glorification of anti-India terrorists in Australia.
Earlier, this month, the Swaminarayan temple in Melbourne, the historic Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs, Victoria and the ISKCON temple in Melbourne were defaced by Âanti-social elements' with anti-India graffiti.
"The frequency and impunity with which the vandals appear to be operating are alarming, as are the graffiti which include the glorification of anti-Indian terrorists," the Indian High Commission in Canberra said in a strongly worded statement.
The commission also noted that these incidents were clear attempts to sow hatred and division among the peaceful multi-faith and multi-cultural Indian-Australian community.
The high commission highlighted "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."
"It is hoped that not only will the perpetrators be brought to justice but suitable action will also be taken to prevent further attempts," the statement said.
In addition, the commission has conveyed concerns about the so-called referendum in Melbourne and Sydney, announced by the proscribed organisation, the Sikhs for Justice next week.
The High Commission urged 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 Australian High Commission in New Delhi has also expressed concern over the incidents, saying the matters are under investigation.
"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," Australia's High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell tweeted recently.
According to the 2011 census, about 2,95,362 in Australia were born in India and there were 3,90,894 responses for Indian ancestry. In 2011-12 Indians were the largest source of permanent migration to Australia. Indians formed 15.7 per cent of the total migration programme in 2011-12, according to the information from the Indian High Commission in Canberra website.