Someone smashed several windows at a Kent Hindu temple sometime between 8 P.M. Thursday and 8 A.M. Friday and printed the word “Fear” on an outside wall. It was the second time a temple in the Puger Sound area was hit by vandals in less than a month.
In a community with so much tradition and so much pride, seeing the vandalism hurts, leaders said.
“(The) Hindu community oversall is a very tolerant community and very peaceful and very loving,” said temple board member Jugal Thakor. “People’s hearts are broken that the windows are broken.”
8 windows were smashed in Kent. The damage was still clearly visible on the outside of Sanatan Dharm Mandir, which is located on the 27000 block of 104th Avenue Southeast. But it couldn’t stop the joy happening inside as one man and one woman became husband and wife.
“We are hurt internally. At the same time, we want to keep moving. These things do happen, and we want to keep going,” said temple board member Kul Garg.
Kent police said based off of preliminary information, the damage caused to the temple doesn’t appear to be racially or religiously motivated.
In mid-February, a Hindu temple in Bothell was spray-painted with a swastika and hurtful messages as part of an alleged hate crime.
“It’s shocking. It’s very cruel I can say. We should learn how to live together in a community, in a society,” said Om Dwivedi, Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Bothell.
Leaders from several temples in the Puget Sound area are now asking for the public’s help to figure out who was responsible for the damage.
“Definitely, everybody wants to know who did it and why they did it,” said Thakor.
Both temples are in the process of installing more surveillance cameras.
In Kent, leaders have received letters of support from area churches and hope to meet with the city’s mayor and police chief in the coming days, they said.
“We want them to know that hey, we need their help. And we are part of the community and we are there to help them,” said Garg.
The vandalism hit both temples hard. But leaders said it won’t stop their resolve to move on.
“Sometimes we don’t have control over these things. We have to accept it and move forward,” said Dwivedi.
Thakor said it will cost about $10,000 to repair the windows that were damaged at Sanatan Dharm Mandir in Kent. Members hope the work will begin in the coming days, he said.
Kent police said they don’t yet have any suspects in the case.