Toronto: As the so-called Khalistan referendum by the banned outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) on September 18 nears, Toronto’s most prominent BAPS Swaminarayan Temple was vandalised with pro-Khalistan graffiti on Wednesday.
The graffiti by the miscreants read ‘Khalistan Zindabad, Hindustan Murdabad’.
Posters have come up in the city of Brampton in Toronto suburbs, which is home to the biggest concentration of Indian community in Canada, calling for people to vote in the referendum. But there is hardly any support for the referendum among the local Sikh community.
The Indian High Commission in Ottawa has demanded strict action against the culprits for desecration at the BAPS temple.
“We strongly condemn the defacing of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto with anti-India graffiti. We have requested Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action against the perpetrators,” a tweet read.
Expressing her outrage, Brampton South MP Sonia Sidhu tweeted, “I am distraught by the act of vandalism that has taken place at the #BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto.
“We live in a multicultural and multi-faith community where everyone deserves to feel safe. Those responsible should be located to face the consequences of their actions.”
Calling the act of vandalism disgusting, Brampton North MP Ruby Sahota said, “All faiths have the right to practice in Canada without intimidation or fear. The criminals behind this act should be punished.”
Chandra Arya, a prominent Hindu MP in the House of Commons, also tweeted to express his shock at the act of vandalism.
“Vandalism of Toronto BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir by Canadian Khalistani extremists should be condemned by all. This is not just an isolated event. Canadian Hindu temples have been targeted in the recent past by these kinds of hate crimes. Hindu Canadians are legitimately concerned,” Arya tweeted.