Swaminarayan temple in Toronto vandalised

Wednesday 21st September 2022 06:59 EDT

TORONTO: The Indian government has protested the vandalisation of Toronto’s largest temple, after it was spray-painted with pro-Khalistan graffiti. The defacement was discovered in the morning by workers and volunteers at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto.

A senior Indian official said that a formal protest note over the vandalisation has been conveyed to Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry, by India’s High Commission in Ottawa. The mission has sought an expeditious investigation into the episode and described it as a “hate crime”.

In a tweet, India’s high commission in Ottawa said, “We strongly condemn defacing of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir Toronto with anti-India graffiti. Have requested Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action on perpetrators.”

Members of the temple management did not want to comment on the incident. However, they confirmed the front gate of the temple was defaced and spray-painted with the slogan, Khalistan Zindabad. The back entrance was also vandalised. They also said law enforcement was informed after its discovery and officers of Toronto Police visited the temple and were looking into it.

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