Vandalised Hindu temple in Mississauga ‘fighting fire with water’ at community clean-up event
Published February 23, 2023 at 11:12 am
Faith leaders, police and politicians are sending a message of unity to the community after a rash of anti-Hindu graffiti at temples in Mississauga and Brampton.
Peel Regional Police are investigating two incidents of what is being called hate-motivated graffiti defacing Hindu temples in Mississauga and Brampton in the last month.
Faith leaders at Shri Gauri Shankar Mandir on Queen St. in Brampton found the graffiti on the temple on the morning of Jan. 30, and more hateful graffiti was found on the walls of Mississauga’s Ram Mandir temple on Feb. 14.
A video circulating on social media showed the word “Khalistan” written on the temple in Brampton – a possible reference to the Sikh separatist movement seeking to create a homeland for Sikhs – while the graffiti in Mississauga called for Indian President Narendra Modi to be declared a terrorist.
Police believe grafiti was hate-motivated but investigators warned against making assumptions as to the vandal’s motivation.
In response to the vandalism, police and members of Brampton City Council came together with leaders in Peel’s Hindu community on Wednesday (Feb. 22) to show a united front against hate-motivated acts in the Region of Peel.
“What we are seeing in Canada today and this region are blatant acts of anti-Hinduism and it is becoming to a point where we cannot just say we will let it go. We have to take a stand,” said Pandit Roopnauth Sharma, founder of Ram Mandir in Mississauga.
Ram Mandir is holding an open event on Friday (Feb. 24) called Washing Away the Hate and is inviting anyone in Mississauga and Brampton to come to the temple from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to help wash the graffiti away.
“We aren’t fighting fire with fire, we’re fighting fire with water,” Sharma said.
PRP Dep. Chief Mark Dapat said police “have zero tolerance for hate-motivated crimes” and that investigators are “pursuing every investigative lead and pathway to solve this crime.”
“Somebody knows who was responsible for this crime and if you know who that is please contact the police or contact CrimeStoppers,” Dep. Chief Dapat said while appealing for anyone with information about either incident to contact authorities.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact Peel Regional Police by calling 905-453-3311. You can also leave a tip anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visiting peelcrimestoppers.ca.
You can take part in the Wash Away the Hate event this Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Ram Mandir located at 270 Export Blvd. in Mississauga.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising