A 'Free Amrit Pal' graffiti written on the exterior walls of Hindu Temple in San Francisco

The Hindu American Foundation shared pictures of anti-India and pro-Khalistani graffiti on the exterior walls of the Hindu temple on social media

The Indian consulate in San Francisco on Saturday condemned the defacement of the Swaminarayan Mandir Vasana Sanstha with anti-India and pro-Khalistani graffiti in California's Newark city, saying the incident has “hurt sentiments of the Indian community”. The embassy also called for a quick investigation into the matter and prompt action against the accused.

“We strongly condemn the defacing of SMVS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir at Newark, California with anti-India graffiti. This incident has hurt the sentiments of the Indian community. We have pressed for quick investigation and prompt action against the vandals by the US authorities in this matter,” the consulate wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Hindu American Foundation earlier in the day shared pictures of anti-India graffiti on the exterior walls of the Hindu temple on social media. The images showed hateful slogans against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the walls of the temple. Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale's name was also written with black ink.

“The mention of the Khalistan terrorist kingpin #Bhindranwale, who targeted Hindus for murder, is specifically meant to traumatize temple goers and create a fear of violence—meeting the CA definition of a hate crime,” the Hindu American Foundation wrote on X.

According to the temple administration, the incident took place on Thursday night when one of the devotees who lives close to the shrine discovered the anti-India graffiti, reported ANI.

The foundation also urged the Newark police to investigate the incident as a hate crime. “Swaminarayan Mandir Vasana Sanstha in Newark, California was defaced with pro-#Khalistan slogans. @NewarkCA_Police and @CivilRights have been informed and full investigation will follow. We are insisting that this should be investigated as a hate crime,” the post read.

Meanwhile, the Newark police called the incident a ‘targeted act’ and assured through investigation. Condemning the incident, a police official told the media: “I can also tell you that as a member of the Newark Police Department and the Newark community, we're deeply saddened when these types of acts occur, and we think they're senseless and they have no room. We won't tolerate them here in Newark. So today, I wanted to make sure that you understand how seriously we take these situations and know that we will investigate as thoroughly as possible with utmost care and sensitivity.”