Khalistan: Hindu temple defaced in California amid growing rift between India and US over Khalistan issue

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WASHINGTON: Just days after a US religious watchdog censured the Modi government for not adequately protecting minorities in India, Sikh separatists in California allegedly defaced a Hindu temple on Friday, bringing to a boil growing tensions between New Delhi and Washington over the issue.
India’s External Affairs Minister S.Jaishankar expressed concern over the Swaminarayan temple near San Jose being vandalised with anti-India graffiti and said extremists and separatist forces outside India should not get such space, even as the so-called Khalistan issue has started to bedevil ties between the two countries.
Photos posted online by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) showed the temple walls defaced with slogans praising militant separatist icon, the late Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, and abusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“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 California definition of a hate crime,” the HAF said, calling for investigating the incident as a hate crime.
The organisation said the incident was a reminder that California is “rapidly joining Canada as a hotbed of #Khalistan inspired anti-Hindu hate crime,” and pledged to raise the issue with the Justice Department.
It also urged the US to take a stronger line against the so-called Khalistan movement, describing it as “Pakistan supported militancy.”

Attacks on Hindu temples and the Indian diplomatic missions, including threats targeting Indian diplomats are growing in US and Canada amid sharp public differences between New Delhi and the west following the alleged official Indian hand in the assassination of Sikh militant Hardeep Singh Nijjar and a purported plot to kill separatist activist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
Washington and Ottawa have suggested the activists have the right to protest under the country’s free speech statutes, but New Delhi says the activism has gone beyond free speech into the ambit of threats and violence aimed at the broader Indian community, officials, and diplomats. Separatist Sikh militants have also been intimidating and silencing moderate Sikhs, Indian officials say.

‘Extremists shouldn’t be given space..’: EAM Jaishankar strongly condemns anti-India graffiti on US Hindu temple

In a lengthy social media thread, Navdeep Singh, an anti-Khalistan activist, posted videos, photos, and messages detailing what he said was the a nexus between the separatist organisation Sikh for Justice headed by Pannun and militants based in Pakistan with close ties to the Pakistan military. He alleged that Khalistani propaganda videos, accessories and merchandise relating to Khalistani referendum were being made in Sialkot, Pakistan with support from the Pakistani military.

PM Modi breaks silence on Pannun’s assassination plot on US soil, Here is what he said

Watch After Canada, Hindu temple vandalised with anti-India, pro-Khalistan graffiti in US



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