In a hate crime, a Hindu temple, located at Louisville in the US state of Kentucky, has been vandalised by miscreants who sprayed black paint on the deity and wrote repugnant messages on the walls, Courier Journal, the largest news organization in Kentucky, has reported.
Local officials have confirmed the act of vandalism at a Swaminarayan Temple in Buechel as a hate crime and asked the local community to help clean up the temple and also help identify those responsible for the "cowardly" act.
Miscreants broke in to the temple and painted message like "Jesus Is All Mighty", "Jesus Is Lord" and "God" on the walls of the temple. In an upstairs room of the temple, profane messages were spray-painted on the walls along with several black crosses.
The deity was also blackened by the vandals.
Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad called the vandalism a hate crime and said police protection would be provided this Sunday to make sure that the Hindu community feels safe.
"The desecration of this temple is heartbreaking," Courier Journal quoted Conradas as saying "I want the people of this temple to know that we will stand with them. We will do our best to keep them safe, and we will do what we need to do to make Louisville a safer city."
According to the report, a window near the entrance of the temple was broken with shards of glass scattered across part of the floor. A picture of a Hindu god was partially sprayed with black paint. "Jesus Is The Only God" and another black cross were sprayed next to a staircase. A knife was also reportedly stabbed onto a chair in the temple.
Few local political leaders unequivocally condemned the act of vandalism.
“The vandalism of Swaminarayan Temple was a cowardly and abhorrent act, a sad reminder of the presence of bigots among us who feel emboldened as of late," U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth said in Facebook post.