Strongly condemning the defacing of a Hindu temple in Canada, India on Wednesday asked authorities in the country to investigate the incident and take swift action against the perpetrators.
The Ram Mandir in Mississauga city was vandalised with anti-India slogans, sending shockwaves across the Indian community.
"We strongly condemn the defacing of Ram Mandir in Mississauga with anti-India graffiti. We have requested Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action on perpetrators," the Consulate General of India in Toronto tweeted early on Wednesday.
The incident also evoked sharp reactions from Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, who said that hate has no place in Canada, and police are investigating it. "I am saddened to hear of the hate motivated vandalism at the Ram Mandir Temple in Mississauga. Unknown suspects spray painted the walls on the back of the temple. This type of hate has no place in Peel Region," Mayor Brown tweeted on Wednesday.
"The @PeelPolice & @ChiefNish (Chief of Peel Regional Police Nishan Duraiappah) are taking this potential hate crime very seriously. 12 Division has carried out the investigation & they will find those responsible. Religious freedom is a Charter right in Canada & we will do everything we can to make sure everyone is safe in their place of worship," Brown added.
Starting 2023, a string of attacks has been unleashed upon Hindu temples across Canada with close to half-a-dozen incidents of vandalism, spiteful graffiti, break-ins and burglaries.
Last week, an unsuccessful burglary attempt also took place at the same temple, according to media reports. The thieves reportedly fled after a security alarm went off. A day after, the Bharat Mata Mandir in Brampton was burgled with the thieves escaping with the donation box collections, according to media reports.
Last month, the Gauri Shankar Mandir was vandalised with "anti-India" graffiti in Brampton, with leaders in Canada and India asking the Ottawa government to take the matter 'seriously'. "I call on govt at levels in Canada to start taking this seriously," Indo-Canadian MP Chandra Arya had tweeted.
"The attack on Gauri Shankar Mandir in Brampton is the latest in attacks on Hindu temples in Canada by anti-Hindu and anti-India groups. From hatred on social media, now physical attacks on Hindu temples, what next?" Arya, MP from the ruling Liberal Party, had asked.
An unsuccessful break-in was also attempted at the Shri Hanuman Mandir in Brampton on January 15.
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.