Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Saturday reacted to the vandalism of a Hindu temple in the US and said extremists should not be given space.
"I have seen it. Extremists, separatists and such forces (against India) should not be given space in foreign lands. Our Consulate there complained to the government and the police and an inquiry is underway," he said.
Jaishankar's statement comes after Swaminarayan Mandir was defaced with anti-India and pro-Khalistani slogans graffiti on its exterior walls in California's Newark city in the United States. The graffiti also mentioned slain Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale's name on the walls.
“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 CA definition of a hate crime,” the Hindu American Foundation wrote on X .
The Indian Consulate in San Francisco on Saturday said the incident has hurt the sentiments of the Indian community. “We strongly condemn the defacing of SMVS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir at Newark, California with anti-India graffiti. This incident has hurt the sentiments of the Indian community. We have pressed for quick investigation and prompt action against the vandals by the US authorities in this matter,” the Consulate General said in a statement.
The EAM also spoke about extending consular assistance to Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national detained in the Czech Republic and facing charges of conspiring to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil.
“He (Nikhil Gupta) needed consular access, our embassy provided that. He has been provided consular access thrice,” Jaishankar said.
The charges against Gupta were made by the US in which he was alleged to have worked with an Indian government employee in the foiled plot to kill US-based Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who holds dual citizenship of the US and Canada. Following the allegations, the Indian government constituted a probe committee to investigate allegations.
Earlier, a Czech government official said India's judicial authorities have “no jurisdiction” in the Nikhil Gupta case as the matter is “under the jurisdiction of the competent authorities of the Czech Republic”.
The official's statement came days after Gupta's family approached the Supreme Court to direct the Indian government to intervene in the extradition process and ensure a fair trial. Meanwhile, the US had sought Gupta's extradition from the Czech authorities.