The Consulate General of India in Toronto condemned the defacing of a temple in Mississauga, a city neighboring Toronto, with “anti-India graffiti”, and said it has raised the issue with Canadian authorities.
“We strongly condemn the defacing of Ram Mandir in Mississauga with anti-India graffiti. We have requested Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action on perpetrators,” it said in a tweet from the official account late on Tuesday.
Unverified photographs of the vandalism shared on Twitter showed the white exterior walls of the temple spray-painted with slogans criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and praising pro-Khalistan leader Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
Mayor of Brampton Patrick Brown asserted that religious freedom is a vital Canadian value and an investigation is ongoing.
“I am saddened to hear of the hate-motivated vandalism at the Ram Mandir Temple in Mississauga. Unknown suspects spray-painted the walls on the back of the temple. This type of hate has no place in Peel Region. The Peel Police and Chief of Peel Regional Police Nishan Duraiappah are taking this potential hate crime very seriously. They will find those responsible. Religious freedom is a Charter right in Canada and we will do everything we can to make sure everyone is safe in their place of worship,” he said.
Indian-origin MP for Mississauga-Malton Iqwinder S Gaheer said he was saddened by the incident and is in touch with the temple authorities.
“Deeply saddened to have a Mandir in Mississauga vandalized. Spray paint was used to vandalize the walls of the temple. The individual(s) responsible should be found and held accountable. As of yet, I am directly in touch with Mandir management to determine a path forward,” he wrote.
This is not the first time such an incident has occurred in Toronto. At least four similar acts have been recorded since July 2022. The most recent one was on January 31, 2023, when a temple was vandalised in Brampton.