The following statement was issued by World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)
The World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) decries the attack on the Hindu priest, Swamiji Harishchander Puri in Queens, New York. Swamiji, the priest at the Shiv Shakti Peeth in Glen Oaks, was walking down the street wearing his religious dress, clearly identifying him as a Hindu priest.
Speaking on behalf of VHPA and American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD), Ajay Shah, Vice President of VHPA for Awareness and PR and Conveneer of AHAD said, “The attack on the Hindu priest in Queens, NY is just beyond an attack on a Hindu priest as an individual. This attack is the manifestation of hate towards Hindu community and mode of worship, and it is clearly intended to intimidate Hindus of Queens. VHPA and AHAD demand that the NY police immediately investigate this attack on Swamiji Harishchander Puri as a hate crime and prosecute the perpetrator of the crime to the fullest extent of law.”
Sanjay Mehta, General Secretary of VHPA and a key organizer of Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference (HMEC) stated that, “HMEC condemns the attack on Swami Harishchander Puriji of Shiv Shakti Peeth Mandir in Queens, NY. While we count on the law enforcement to take action against the perpetrator of crime against Swami Harishchander Puri, the HMEC stands ready to provide legal and other support needed by Swamiji, Shiv Shakti Peeth and the Queens Hindu community. HMEC and its associated project, HIndu Mandir Priests Conference (HMPC), will continue to fight ignorance of Hindu dharma and hate towards Hindus. In the upcoming annual meet of HMEC, from Sept 20-22, 2019 in East Hanover, New Jersey, there will be a special workshop on Mandir security and broader community engagement and education.”
About World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)
World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) is the most prominent organization of Hindus in USA. Founded in 1970, it has branches across the country. VHPA runs educational programs for Hindu children and youth in addition to community service (seva) activities.
About American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD)
A project of VHPA, AHAD is the first and foremost coalition of prominent Hindu organizations dedicated to the the preservation of the sanctity of Hindu symbols, icons, culture and customs.
About Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference (HMEC)
An initiative of VHPA, HMEC offers Mandir (temple) Executives’, Priests, Hindu community leaders and Scholars a networking forum for:
- Building, preserving and strengthening of Mandirs in North America
- Engaging youth in temple operations
- Providing leadership, networking and building a strong community
- Engaging in interfaith dialog
- Social Services
Hundreds of mandir executives participate in HMEC each year.
About Hindu Mandir Priests’ Conference (HMPC)
An initiative of VHPA and HMEC, HMPC is forum that brings HIndu priests from North American temples together.
- The purohits (priests) play an essential role in the spiritual and cultural welfare of North American Hindu society. The conferees will explore ways to make the priests’ roles more effective in meeting the ever changing needs of North American Hindus.