A prominent Hindu temple was vandalised with anti-India graffiti in the US state of California and the police are investigating the matter as a possible hate crime.
The City of Newark Police Department in Newark, Newark, California told PTI in an emailed statement that on Friday at approximately 8:35 am, they 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 signpost outside the temple along with other objectionable graffiti.