New Delhi, February 13, 2022: Hindus globally are highly concerned regarding reports of ten break-ins in the last three months in Hindu temples in Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton in the Greater Toronto Area of Canada.
Reports suggest that the break-ins resulted in thousands of dollars of cash stolen from donation boxes, property damage, removal of jewelry adorning deity idols, ransacking of the office, missing gold-plated silver flute from the hand of statue of Lord Krishna; sending the area Hindu community in a state of anguish, which now feels targeted. Affected temples reportedly include Mississauga Hindu Heritage Centre, Brampton Gauri Shankar Mandir, Brampton Jagannath Temple, Brampton Maa Chintpurni Shrijidham Temple, Hamilton Hindu Samaj Temple.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was appalling for the worldwide Hindus to hear about such incidents happening to Hindu houses of worship; thus reportedly causing heartbreak to the hard-working, harmonious and peaceful area Hindu community. Canadian Hindus had made a lot of contributions to the nation and society and continued to do so; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.
Zed urged Canadian Minister of Public Safety Marco E. L. Mendicino, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger to take this issue seriously and urgently and launch swift action to put an end to such crimes and make sure that such incidents did not happen in the future.
Adequate security measures should be in place to protect the Canadian Hindu population and Hindu temples in Canada; and Mendicino, Ford, Crombie, Brown and Eisenberger should immediately visit the vandalized temples and meet the Hindu community in Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton and surrounding areas to reassure them; Rajan Zed indicated.
Zed further said that as an interfaith gesture; Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins from Archdiocese of Toronto, United Church Moderator Richard Bott, Metropolitan Anne Germond of Anglican Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario and area leaders of other religions should strongly condemn these vandalizing acts at places of worship and also visit the affected temples to show their solidarity with the reportedly dismayed Hindus.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.2 billion adherents.