During the auspicious month of Navratri, reports suggest that more than 30 statues of Hindu gods were vandalized at the Barathiye Mandir Temple in Sydney’s Regents Park.
In what appears to be an act of hate crime, the word “JESUS” was seen scribbled on the wall apart from setting ablaze parts of interior of the temple and destroying all the musical instruments that were located inside the temple.
“We walked in first and thought maybe they came in to rob for money, and then we saw that the statues were broken, there’s no money in the statues. We realised … they came in just to destroy the place.” temple President Indrajit Rai said.
“This is the prime time of Hindu prayer session where all Hindus pray for nine days starting from October 10-18,” temple priest Pundit Maharaj said.
“We will continue to pray here and we will clean up the temple and restore it. What else can we do?,” he further added.
Officers from the Auburn Police Area Command are conducting investigations into the vandalism, having discovered that a person or persons had forced entry into the temple, destroyed property and started a few fires.
The loss is estimated to be at 50,000 AUD and the local Hindu community has been crowd sourcing to get the funds to begin repair work.