Hindu temple in Aus threatened to raise ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ slogans: Report

Melbourne, Feb 17 (IANS) Another prominent Hindu temple in Australia has received a threatening call to raise ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ slogans and support the referendum, according to a media report.
The president and the vice president of Gayatri Mandir in Brisbane received a call at 9.30 a.m. on Friday from a man who identified himself as ‘Guruawadesh Singh’, The Australia Today reported.
Claiming that he was calling from Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, the anti-India supporter asked temple officials to ask the Hindu community to support the ‘Khalistan Referendum’.
“I have a message in relation to Khalistan… if you plan to celebrate Maha Shivratri on February 19, then ask the priest to support Khalistan a raise ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ slogans five times during your event… now show me how you will raise this slogan,” Singh said in a phone call.
He also threatened to send his men from Melbourne to make sure that the Hindu devotees of Gayatri Mandir support Khalistan.
“Violence towards religious places is the biggest crime and we as Hindus should be able to practice our religion without fear,” Dharmesh Prasad, the temple’s vice president, told The Australia Today.
The incident came just after Kali Mata temple in Melbourne received a threat call this week, asking it to cancel a religious event or face consequences.
Beginning 2023, Hindu temples in Australia and Canada have seen a spurt in vandal attacks by Khalistani elements defacing the walls with anti-India slogans and graffiti.Between January 12 to 23, three prominent Hindu temples in Melbourne were targetted.
“The frequency and impunity with which the vandals appear to be operating are alarming, as are the graffiti which include glorification of anti-Indian terrorists,” the Indian High Commission in Australia said in a strongly-worded statement.
Indians in Australia said they are “angry, scared and dismayed by the blatant display of religious hatred towards the peaceful Hindu community by Khalistan supporters”.
According to census data, Hinduism is the fastest-growing religion in Australia. In the 2021 Australian census, Hinduism grew by 55.3 per cent to 684,002 people.

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