California Temple Defaced With Khalistani Graffiti
HAYWARD, CA (IANS) – The Vijay’s Sherawali Temple in Hayward has been vandalized with anti-India and pro-Khalistan graffiti.
“Another Bay Area Hindu temple attacked with pro-#Khalistan graffiti,” the Hindu American Foundation said in the post on X. “The Vijay’s Sherawali Temple in Hayward, CA sustained a copycat defacement just two weeks after the Swaminarayan Mandir attack and one week after a theft at the Shiv Durga temple in the same area.”
Located at 20789 Garden Avenue, the graffiti spray painted with black ink targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and eulogized Khalistan.
The group said that it is in touch with temple leaders, the Alameda Police Department, and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice to address the matter.
Given the rising threat from pro-Khalistan elements, HAF urged temple leaders across the US to download its safety guide.
“The guide specifically discusses that temple graffiti qualifies as a hate crime and also the importance of installing working security cameras and alarm systems in view of the rising threat from #Khalistan proponents as well as the omnipresent risk from anti-Hindu actors,” HAF wrote, and posted the safety guide on X.
Meanwhile, US authorities are investigating the attack on Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple, as a potential hate crime.
“We condemn the vandalism of Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple in California. We welcome efforts by the Newark Police Department to ensure that those responsible are held accountable,” the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs had said in a post on social media platform X.
Mihir Meghani, co-founder of HAF, had told CBS News that the Indian-American community in the Bay Area is growing, and these political issues are now becoming a part of the division here.
These attacks on Hindu temples, occurring between December 2023 and the first week of the New Year, follow a US indictment against an Indian national for his involvement in a foiled plot to kill New York-based Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.