Melbourne: A Gurdwara in the Australian
state of Victoria has been vandalised in what is believed to
be a "racial" attack, sparking fears among the minority
community which has appealed for greater security for the
Sikhs in Shepparton in northern Victoria have appealed
to those who vandalised their Gurdwara to leave them alone.
"Why they`re doing it we don`t know and we think
there`s a bit of racism - I`m not sure but (there) could be,"
a local Sikh Kuldeep Singh was quoted as saying by ABC News
Security has been stepped up around the Gurdwara after
recent vandalism attacks, including eggs being thrown at the
building and a car smashing a fence around the structure, the
"If somebody has got a problem it would be good to
talk to us but definitely we want peace and we want to send a
message of peace around," he said, adding the attacks are
Singh said it was difficult to understand as "we`ve
got a very good reputation in the community here". "We are
hardworking people, we believe in God," he noted.
In a separate incident, a Sikh boy studying in Class
11 at an outer northern Christian school in Melbourne was
forced to shave off his beard, Harkirat Singh of the Sikh
Federation of Australia was quoted as saying by ABC radio.
It has sparked an outrage among the Indian community
which accused the institute of religious discrimination.
The school principal has apologised "for any harm that
he might have felt or any hurt that he might have felt".
Over 100 incidents of attacks on Indians, including
racial, have come to light in the last few years in Australia.
Last year, an organisation, National Council of Indian
Australians was formed here to secure the rights and interests
of the minority community members in the country amid a series
of attacks on them.