Melbourne: Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Saturday interacted with the Indian diaspora in Melbourne and appreciated their contributions to multifaceted ties with Australia.

"Delighted to interact with the vibrant Indian diaspora in Melbourne. Appreciate their immense contributions and adding value to our multifaceted ties with Australia," tweeted Muraleedharan.

He is on a visit to Melbourne and Perth in Australia and Singapore from February 18 to 21.

"The visits to Australia and Singapore are in continuation of his visits to Nadi, Fiji to attend the 12th World Hindi Conference from 15-17 February 2023 and to Sydney, Australia on 13 February 2023," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

Earlier, Muraleedharan held fruitful discussions on wide-ranging subjects with Tim Pallas, Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations, Trade and Investment of Victoria and discussed matters related to the Indian diaspora.

"Held fruitful discussions on wide-ranging subjects of our ever-growing bilateral relationship with Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations, Trade & Investment of Victoria, Tim Pallas. Also, discussed matters related to the Indian diaspora," tweeted Muraleedharan.

Notably, the Indian community in Australia condemned the vandalism of Hindu temples in several parts of the country and demanded strict action against the perpetrators.

Earlier in January this year, several Hindu temples were vandalized in different parts of Australia allegedly by Khalistan supporters.

In January, Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Australia's Carrum Downs was vandalised with anti-Hindu graffiti.

The act came to notice on January 16 after temple devotees came for 'darshan' amid the three-day long "Thai Pongal" festival which was celebrated by Australia's Tamil Hindu community, The Australia Today reported. On the evening of January 15, 2023, Khalistan supporters tried to draw support for their referendum through a car rally in Melbourne. However, they failed miserably as less than two hundred people gathered out of an almost 60,000-strong Melbourne community, according to The Australia Today.

A week before the above incident, on January 12, the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Australia's Mill Park was smeared with anti-India and anti-Hindu graffiti. The temple was vandalised by anti-India elements with anti-India slogans written on the temple's walls, located in the suburb of Mill Park, The Australia Today reported. Patel, an onlooker shared how he witnessed the vandalised walls of the temple when he visited the site.

The management of Melbourne's International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple also known as the Hare Krishna Temple found the temple walls vandalised with anti-India graffiti.

The attack on ISKCON Temple came two days after Victorian multifaith leaders held an emergency meeting with Victorian Multicultural Commission, per the news report. The Victorian Multicultural Commission issued a statement condemning the vandalism of Hindu temples in Mill Park and Carrum Downes.

Later, India condemned the vandalization of Hindu temples in Australia and said that the matter has been raised with the Australian government in Canberra and asked for expeditious investigation against the perpetrators.

MoS Muraleedharan also paid tribute to the soldiers of World War II at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.

"Started my day in Melbourne by paying tribute to the soldiers, who laid down their lives during the 2 World Wars, at Shrine of Remembrance," he tweeted.