A shocking incident of religious hatred came to light on Sunday in Sydney, Australia. A Hindu temple was vandalised and set on fire, as per the reports.
More than 30 statues of Hindu gods at the Barathiye Mandir Temple in Sydney’s Regents Park were smashed, the temple property was ruined, and the temple was set on fire by some unidentified vandals who also scribbled the word ‘Jesus’ on a wall. Damaged statues were strewn across the floor and smeared with ghee, instruments and other items of the temple were smashed and the room was covered with paint.
According to the Priest Pundit Paras Maharaj, “It was about 6 pm. I saw some smoke and wondered if someone had started the evening puja (worship) without me. Andar do-teen log the (there were two or three people inside)” he said. “They made a quick getaway via the back window.” He added, “Hamare dost ne police ko phone kiya (a friend phoned the police. They came and sealed the premises immediately. They conducted their forensic tests, and left only at 2 am.”
The Hindu community in the area is in a state of deep shock and anguish as the unfortunate incident happened during the holy period of Navaratra when the whole Hindu community was engaged in festivities. A vandal attack like this has never happened before and the community is suspecting it to be a hate crime.
Surinder Jain of Hindu Council of Australia said, “They do not know who has done it but it has caused a lot of pain and anguish to devotees. We will rebuild the temple. We are not going to go away, this is our home too,”
He urged the leaders of all faiths to come in their support and condemn the criminal act.