US Congressional Candidate Ritesh Tandon Calls Attention to Vandalized Indian Temples in California
US Congressional Candidate Ritesh Tandon Calls Attention to Vandalized Indian Temples in California

Washington: Ritesh Tandon, a Democratic candidate for California's 17th Congressional District, has raised concerns about the recent vandalism of six Indian temples in California over the past two weeks. Expressing disappointment at the lack of response from State Senator Aisha Wahab, Tandon called for action.

Tandon and a group of protesters staged a rally in front of Senator Wahab's office, seeking a meeting to address the issue. However, despite being during office hours on a working day, the office was closed, prompting Tandon to question the utilization of taxpayer dollars and suggest a potential recall.

"In the last two weeks, six Indian temples have been vandalized, with five located in Wahab District. There has been no response from Senator Aisha Wahab," Tandon stated in an X post.

Senator Aisha Wahab, elected to the California Senate in 2022, has positioned herself as a lawmaker aiming to reduce economic inequality and strengthen safety nets for seniors, women, children, and working families, according to her website.

The act of vandalism against the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple in Newark, California, in December the previous year had drawn condemnation from the United States. The temple was vandalized with anti-India graffiti, and authorities are investigating it as a possible hate crime.

The incident adds to growing concerns about the safety and security of Indian temples abroad, following reports of similar incidents in Canada, where shots were fired at the residence of an Indian-origin businessman associated with Lakshmi Narayan Mandir in Surrey, British Columbia. Authorities are actively investigating these cases, emphasizing the need to address and curb such acts of vandalism.

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