NEW YORK: The US on Saturday condemned the vandalism of a Hindu temple in California and welcomed efforts by the police to ensure those responsible are held accountable.
The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple in Newark, California was vandalised with anti-India graffiti and the police are investigating the matter as a possible hate crime.
“We condemn the vandalism of Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple in California. We welcome efforts by the Newark Police Department to ensure that those responsible are held accountable,” the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs said in a post on social media platform X.
In an emailed statement to PTI, the City of Newark Police Department in Newark, California, said that on Friday at approximately 8:35 am, Newark Police received a report of graffiti at the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple.
Officers responded and met with temple leaders who described the vandalism as meant to intimidate them.
“Based on the content of the graffiti it is believed that the defacement was a targeted act, and the vandalism is being investigated as a possible hate crime,” the statement said.
The Consulate General of India in San Francisco strongly condemned the defacing of the temple.
“We strongly condemn the defacing of SMVS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir at Newark, California with anti-India graffiti,” the Consulate posted on X.
“This incident has hurt the sentiments of the Indian community. We have pressed for quick investigation and prompt action against the vandals by the US authorities in this matter,” the Consulate said.
According to images posted on social media, the word ‘Khalistan’ was spray-painted on a sign post outside the temple along with other objectionable graffiti.