Swaminarayan Sanstha calls for peace following anti-India graffiti at temple gates in Toronto

NEW DELHI: The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha has reached out to all devotees and well-wishers to maintain peace after anti-India graffiti surfaced at the gates of its temple in Toronto on Wednesday.
The prominent Hindu temple was defaced with anti-India graffiti in what is being seen as a hate crime against the Indian-Canadian Hindu community. The Indian High Commission in Canada has condemned the incident and urged the authorities to investigate the incident and take swift action against the perpetrators.
“We are shocked and saddened by the anti-India graffiti at the gates of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto by anti-social elements. The BAPS temple in Toronto, like all others worldwide, is an abode of peace, harmony, equality, selfless service and universal Hindu values,” the BAPS Swaminarayan authorities said in a message on their website.
“At this critical time, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, has prayed for peace and unity and has appealed to all devotees and well-wishers to maintain peace.”
“We are thankful to the appropriate authorities, including the governments of India and Canada, for their continued support and sympathy. Let us all join in worldwide prayers, in private and at home, that God blesses and guides us all to continue to do good and think good of all,” the message added.
The Indian-Canadian community is shocked about the attack on the temple. “This is shocking not just for the Indo-Canadian community but for the people of Indian origin around the globe. Canada is a multicultural and diverse country with people of different faiths, culture and religion coexisting here. Our message to the Canadian government is to stop this because today Hindus are being targeted; in future others can also face such hate crimes. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should find a solution to this,” said Winnipeg-based Hemant M Shah, community leader and trade director, Overseas Friends of India Canada, an organization promoting India-Canada relations.
“This is a cowardly act and we don’t know what the perpetrators have achieved with this,” he added.


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