Indians have reacted with outrage after it emerged that one of the oldest Hindu temples in Washington state was vandalised on the eve of Mahashivratri.
Reports claim that the miscreants, who are yet to be identified, painted Swastika sign and wrote "Get Out" on the wall of the temple located in the Snohomish county in Seattle Metropolitan area, PTI reported.
The temple vandalised by the hooligans is among the largest Hindu temples in the entire North West.
The Snohomish county sheriff's department is investigating the case as malicious harassment.
"This kind of thing should not happen in the US. Who are you telling to get out? This is a nation of immigrants," Nitya Niranjan, chairman of board of trustee of the Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre, Bothell, Washington told PTI.
The incident that took place on the eve of Mahashivratri, a Hindu festival, has shocked the local community. "We have no idea, who did it," Niranjan said. While the temple has been there for nearly two decades, the construction on the second phase of the current building began recently.
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) also condemned the incident.
"The timing of this crime, occurring before a major Hindu festival, warrants special attention from law enforcement," said Jay Kansara, director of government relations, Hindu American Foundation.
"We are encouraged by the ongoing thorough investigation of the Bothell city police department. HAF will continue to engage through the local community with city, state, and federal officials until the perpetrator is brought to justice," Kansara said.
'Get Out' spray painted on Hindu temple in Bothwell in Seattle metropolitan area. 2nd time for same temple. pic.twitter.com/9CChPCSe4v
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) February 17, 2015
Of late, there has been increasing incidents of vandalism of Hindu temples in the US including one in Loudoun County, Virginia and and another in Monroe, Georgia last year.
"They always say they are a pluralist and inclusive society. What happened is totally unacceptable," Congress leader PC Chacko told news agency ANI.
BJP leader Sambit Patra tweeted: "One Indian Brutally attacked by US Police, One Indian Shot dead,One Temple Vandalized ..Martin Luther King would really be saddened by this!"
As of 1 January 2015, the department of justice ordered all crime reporting forms to include the category anti-Hindu under the possible motives of hate crimes.
Twitter Reactions on Seattle Hindu Temple Vandalism on Mahashivratri:
Sutteri Entrepreneur @dsarin2
@JessicaChasmar well your Christians are at it in the U.S. Just vandalised a Hindu temple and wrote get out all over it.
Mitra Joshi @mitrajo
Hindu temple vandalised in US, An elderly Indian man beaten in Alabama, A young Indian killed in Edison - @BarackObama, any more preaching?
Umong Sethi @Rudraputr
Unacceptable as is similar acts in India and elsewhere in the world! Hindu temple vandalised in US
Dr Neelu Goswami @NeelakshiGswm
#हरहरमहादेव Hindu temple vandalized at Seattle on eve of #MahaShivratri "Go Home" & nazi swastika in graffiti
नित्यानंद शर्मा @nityanand_in
Dear Mr. @BarackObama , First make your house in order before preaching to the world.
"Getout' on Hindu temple wall.Yes.You kick all the african american,indian scientist,techies doctors&Jews out & see what is left to manage.