India-born Canadian member of Parliament Chandra Arya on Friday condemned the defacing of Ram Mandir in Mississauga and asked authorities to seriously look into the activities of anti-Hindu and anti-India groups and take action.
"It is with pain and anguish I state that a Hindu temple has become the latest target of hate crime," he said.
Speaking in parliament, Arya said: "In recent times other Hindu temples across Canada have been targets of hate crimes by anti-Hindu and anti-India groups."
"These groups first joined hands-on social media targeting Hindu-Canadians and starting the trend of Hinduphobia. Now they have moved on to physical attacks on Hindu temples," he said, as per the statement shared by the MP on Twitter.
"There are reports that individual Hindu Canadians are also being targeted. As I have said before, Canada needs to take the issue seriously and address the growing Hinduphobia.
"As Canadians, we practice, celebrate, and share our many different religious faiths and heritage peacefully and let us all pledge to continue to do so," he added.
Arya also uploaded a video of his speech on Twitter.
Two days back the Ram Temple was defaced by Khalistani elements with anti-India graffiti scribbled all over temple walls, prompting the Indian mission to condemn the incident and urge Canadian authorities to take swift action against perpetrators.
Condemning the desecration of the temple, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said the repeated vandalism of Hindu temples in Canada must stop.
"No one, no matter their faith or ethnicity, should live in fear or intimidation -- especially at a place of worship. My thoughts are with those at Ram Mandir temple in Mississauga and Hindu communities everywhere," she tweeted.
Ruby Sahota, MP from Brampton, said in a tweet, "It is always a grave disappointment when any community has to face hateful acts here in Peel."
Canada's defense minister Anita Anand added, "Freedom of religion is a fundamental tenet of our democracy."
Local law enforcement, Peel Regional Police (PRP), has described the incident as a "hate-motivated crime".
In a statement, it said, "We want to assure Peel's Hindu community, and residents of all backgrounds and faiths, that Peel Regional Police has no tolerance for hate and condemns this act in the strongest possible terms." (KB/IANS)