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February 22, 2024
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United States strongly condemns Anti-India slogans on California Temple, promises thorough investigation

California: In a disconcerting incident, the United States has strongly condemned the defacement of the Shri Swaminarayan Temple in Newark, California, where pro-Khalistan slogans were discovered, along with messages against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The slogans specifically supported Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a controversial figure involved in Operation Bluestar.

According to the temple administration, the incident took place on Thursday night.”One of the devotees, who lives close to the shrine, discovered anti-Hindu and anti-India graffiti in black ink on an exterior wall of the building, and the local administration was immediately informed,” Bhargav Raval, the spokesperson for the temple administration, told ANI.

Expressing their concern, the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs took to social media, stating, “We welcome the efforts of local police in addressing this issue and holding those responsible accountable. Investigation is ongoing.”

India’s Foreign Minister, S Jaishankar, addressed the incident during a university convocation ceremony in Gujarat, emphasizing, “Extremists and separatist forces should not find a place outside India. Our Consulate has filed a complaint with the American government and local police. The matter is currently under investigation.”

The defacement was brought to light by the Hindu American Foundation, which asserted on its Twitter handle, “Swaminarayan Temple in Newark, California was defaced with pro-Khalistan slogans.” The organization highlighted that the Newark Police and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice have been informed and are committed to conducting a comprehensive investigation. They insisted that the case be treated as a hate crime.

The Hindu American Foundation further clarified their stance, stating, “The mention of Khalistani terrorist leader Bhindranwale, who killed Hindus, has been made to traumatize temple goers and create fear of violence, meeting the definition of a hate crime.”

This disturbing incident has sparked widespread concern within the Indian diaspora, and both Indian and American authorities are collaborating to ensure a swift and thorough investigation. The international community is closely monitoring developments as efforts are underway to address the defacement of the sacred temple with the urgency and seriousness it deserves.

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