CBS network in Dallas-Fort Worth area reported that a temple board member, Krishna Singh, said mandir members discovered the graffiti on April 13. “That was a big shock, really,” the network quoted her as saying.
“It makes me sad inside,” a nine-year-old child, Gracie Reed, told 11CBS. “To me, it’s really horrifying because I don’t know who would do this to a church,” the child said referring to the house of worship.
Dallas police have sent detectives from their gang unit to investigate the incident.
Ted Hoffman, who lives across from the temple, told 11CBS, “We all find it appalling” and the neighbours have offered to help paint over the symbols.
The gesture of help from neighbours was welcomed by Hindus. WFAA quoted the temple treasurers Karen Snorton as saying she found the offer reassuring. “They’ve been here so that’s a positive thing that’s come out of all of this.” The temple supports community charities like food banks for the poor and an organisation that helps victims of child abuse. Snorton said that MS-13 was spray-painted on one of the sheds. MS-13 is the abbreviated name and tag or signature of Mara Salvatrucha. According to 11CBS, “666” and an upside cross were painted on the temple door. They symbolise devil worship.