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S. Jaishankar Reacts After Pro-Khalistan Elements Deface Hindu Temple In US

A Hindu temple in California, specifically Newark’s Swaminarayan Mandir Vasana Sanstha, faced defacement with pro-Khalistan and anti-India slogans. The Hindu-American Foundation shared photos of the defacement on X. These images displayed slogans against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on multiple walls of the temple. The organisation said that the hateful messages may have been written to traumatise people visiting the temple and also create a “fear of violence”.

A case has been filed with the Newark Police Department and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

India strongly condemned the incident and said that it has sought quick action.

“We strongly condemn the defacing of SMVS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir at Newark, California with anti-India graffiti. This incident has hurt the sentiments of the Indian community. We have pressed for a quick investigation and prompt action against the vandals by the US authorities in this matter,” Indian Embassy said on X (formerly Twitter).

Reacting to the incident, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said such ‘extremists’ should not be given space

 “I have seen it. Extremists, separatists and such forces should not be given space. Our Consulate there complained to the government and the police and an inquiry is underway”, Mr Jaishankar told reporters.

This incident is not the first occurrence of a Hindu temple being targeted, as similar events have taken place in the past, both in the US and its neighboring Canada. India has previously expressed concern about the increasing activities of Khalistan supporters and has taken measures to address organizations and individuals attempting to fuel separatist sentiment in various countries.

In a previous incident in August, a temple in Surrey, Canada, was vandalized, allegedly by Khalistani supporters. Pro-Khalistan posters were placed on the walls and gate of the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, one of the oldest temples in British Columbia. The posters urged Canada to investigate India’s “role” in the death of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18.

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