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SOURCE: IANS

A Hindu temple in Melbourne was allegedly vandalised by anti-India supporters and defaced with anti-India graffiti, saying ‘Hindustan Murdabad’, media reports said.

The walls of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Melbourne’s northern suburb of Mill Park were also marked with praises of Indian terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale — a supporter of the creation of Khalistan for Sikhs — as a ‘martyr’, The Australia Today reported.

“We are deeply saddened by the anti-India graffiti at the gates of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Mill Park, Melbourne, Australia by anti-social elements. The BAPS temple in Mill Park, like all temples of BAPS worldwide, is an abode of peace, harmony, equality, selfless service, and universal Hindu values,” the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha said in an official statement on Thursday.

“When I reached the temple today morning, all walls were coloured with graffiti of Khalistani hatred towards Hindus,” a local resident told the paper. Makrand Bhagwat, Hindu Council of Australia’s Victoria state President, told The Australia Today that “any kind of hatred and vandalism against places of worship is not acceptable and we condemn it”. He added that the issue will be raised with the Victorian Multicultural Commission and the Multicultural Minister of Victoria.

The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha expressed gratitude to the governments of Australia and India as well as local community organisations “for their continued support.” “BAPS Mandirs across Australia are symbols of a thriving multicultural society which nurture Australian values of respect, mateship and tolerance”, the statement said. In September last year, BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Canada was defaced by alleged Khalistani miscreants with anti-India graffiti.