On April 5, vandals broke into the construction site of a new temple being constructed in Maple Grove by the Hindu Society of Minnesota. State Senator Satveer Chaudhary (DFL-Fridley) said he was very upset to receive this news and condemned the vandalism in no uncertain terms.
“According to the Hindu Society of Minnesota, the vandals broke into the 43,000 square foot facility and damaged the religious deities and several other areas of the temple, including the auditorium, dining hall, and classrooms,” Sen. Chaudhary said. “The deities in the religious alter that were destroyed were constructed in India.”
Sen. Chaudhary said that the vandalism should be investigated as a potential hate crime. “This was a crime against an obviously minority institution, and there is no way the perpetrators did not know that,” he said. “Also, the focus of the destruction on Hindu sculptures was particularly heinous.”
Numerous architects have been working for more than two years on this building which was scheduled to open in June. Sen. Chaudhary said that this is to be one of the largest Hindu temples in North America. According to the Hindu Society, the City of Maple Grove has been enthusiastically involved in the planning and construction of the new temple and city officials are extremely distressed by the acts of vandalism.
“It’s hard to understand why someone would do something so violent to a place of peace,” Sen. Chaudhary said. “The Hindu Society said they are confident they will be able to repair the damage that is done to the building and will move forward with the construction. Hopefully if anyone has information about the vandalism they will contact the Maple Grove Police. This crime cannot be tolerated in our society.”
The temple’s organization recently sent invitations to Minnesota’s public officials for its grand opening in June. Temple officials are considering postponing the grand opening. Anyone with information about the incident can contact the Maple Grove Police Department at 763/494-6100.