Toronto: A Hindu temple has been vandalised with ‘anti-India’ graffiti in Canada’s Brampton province, leaving the Indian community in shock.
The Indian Consulate General in Toronto issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the attack on the Gauri Shankar Mandir in Brampton.
“The hateful act of vandalism has deeply hurt the sentiments of the Indian community in Canada. We have raised our concerns on the matter with Canadian authorities,” the consulate office said in a statement.
The matter is currently under investigation by the Canadian authorities.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown condemned the defacing of the temple, which is a symbol of Indian heritage.
“This hateful act of vandalism has no place in our city or country,” Brown tweeted.
He added that he had raised his concerns over this hate crime with Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their place of worship,” Brown said.
The incident comes close to three Hindu temples being targeted in Australia with anti-India graffiti by Khalistani groups in the month of January alone.
In July 2022, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a Vishnu Temple in the Richmond Hill neighbourhood of Canada was desecrated.
In September 2022, Canada’s BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir was defaced by alleged Khalistani miscreants with anti-India graffiti.
India had then issued a strongly-worded statement urging Canadian authorities to properly investigate the “increasing incidents” of hate crimes against Indians.
More than 2.46 lakh Indians immigrated to Canada between 2016 and 2021, according to a recent Statistics Canada report.
The National Statistical Office of Canada showed a 72 per cent rise in hate crimes in Canada between 2019 and 2021 targeting a person’s race, religion, or sexual orientation.