India calls for investigation into vandalism at Hindu temple in US

India calls for investigation into vandalism at Hindu temple in US
India calls for investigation into vandalism at Hindu temple in US

India on Saturday called for an investigation by the United States authorities after a Hindu temple was vandalized with slogans against the south Asian country in the state of California.

The Indian Consulate in San Francisco reported on Saturday on X (formerly Twitter), that it had urged the authorities for a “quick investigation and prompt action against the vandals.”

“We strongly condemn the defacing of SMVS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir at Newark, California with anti-India graffiti. This incident has hurt the sentiments of the Indian community,” it added.

The graffiti also made references to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also to Bhrindanwale, a Sikh separatist that sought the creation of an independent Khalistan for the Sikh minority in the subcontinent.

India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, during a press conference, expressed concern over this incident, and stressed that extremists and separatist forces outside India should not be given space.

The incident comes at a sensitive moment in bilateral relations between New Delhi and Washington following allegations of India’s alleged involvement in a plan to assassinate a Sikh separatist leader on US soil.

The US prosecutor’s office filed charges late last month against an Indian citizen, Nikhil Gupta, accused of attempting to hire a hitman to assassinate a separatist leader of the Sikh religion, at the behest of an Indian government official who has not been charged.

The alleged target was Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, an Indian-born lawyer and US citizen, who founded the U.S.-based organization Sikhs for Justice.

New Delhi accuses Pannun of promoting terrorist acts and radicalizing youth towards the Khalistani separatist movement, which seeks the creation of an independent homeland for Sikhs carved out of the state of Punjab in northern India.

India has said it is investigating the US allegations, which come months after the killing of the separatist leader of Sikhs for Justice in Canada, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Trudeau implicated New Delhi in the murder and called on the Indian authorities to assist in the investigation of the crime.

India reacted by suspending visas and withdrawing immunity to 41 of the 62 Canadian diplomats in the Asian country.


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