Toronto: A Hindu temple in Canada has been vandalized by two men armed with baseball bats, outraging the country's minority community which termed the act as a ‘hate crime’.
    
The men smashed three windows at the front entrance of the Vedic Hindu Temple on June 23 in Surrey, British Columbia.
    
"They left after breaking the windows and leaving those bats, which is self-explanatory," a temple official was quoted as saying by local media.
    
"When I came to know those facts I felt it's not a regular break-in where somebody wants to damage, it's a hate crime, which is unfortunate and disturbing," said Parshotam Goel, President of the Vedic Hindu Cultural Society.
    
Surrey Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are probing the incident, said they don't consider it as a hate crime.
    
Jason Kenney, Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, has condemned the attack.
    
He said it was particularly disgusting that the incident happened on the anniversary of the Air India bombing, where 329 people, mostly Canadians, were killed.
    
"The act of vandalism that took place against the Vedic Hindu Temple on June 23 vandals smashed three windows near the temple's entrance overnight, is contrary to Canadian values and repugnant to our tradition of religious tolerance, which dates back centuries and is one of our greatest strengths," Kenney said in a statement.
    
"I encourage each and every Canadian to categorically reject such cowardly acts of bigotry, and I ask that anyone with information please contact the appropriate authorities so the perpetrators can be brought to justice as swiftly as possible," the Minister said.

(Agencies)

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