VANCOUVER: A Hindu temple in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey was vandalized on Sunday night.
According to Parshotam Goel, president of the Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Mandir, two miscreants came to the temple in the wee hours of Sunday with baseball bats and smashed the windows of the front entrance to the temple.
They were later seen fleeing from the scene with nothing in their hands.
From the images captured by surveillance cameras, they looked south Asian, he said.
A broken bat left by the attackers had the word `Brar’ and the Sikh symbol of Khanda on it.
Goel thinks it is clearly a hate crime.
“Definitely it’s a hate crime. It’s not an act of vandalism, ‘’ he was quoted as saying by a local newspaper.
But the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who are investigating the attack, are not saying whether it is a hate crime.
Indo-Canadian MPs Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu, who represent the local Newton North-Delta and Surrey-North ridings in parliament), has condemned the attack.
In a statement, Jinny Sims said she immediately contacted members of the temple to show her support and condemn the vandalism.
“My colleague Jasbir (Surrey North) and I unequivocally condemn such heinous acts of violence on a place of worship,” Said Sims. “Surrey is a shining example of Canada’s diversity, where faith based organizations and temples are institutions of peace that celebrate Canadian multiculturalism. Attacks on such institutions should not be taken lightly,’’ the Indo-Canadian MP said.
“The united condemnation from people of all faiths is an example of both the Canadian spirit and the resiliency of Surrey residents. I have full confidence that the Police and authorities will take the appropriate steps to ensure perpetrators are held accountable,’’ Sims said.
Interestingly, Sunday was the 28th anniversary of the bombing of the Air India Kanishka flight in 1985 that killed all 329 people on board. As the trial court said in its verdict in 2005, the bomb that destroyed the plane originated in Vancouver.