The World Hindu Council of America 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, Ajay Shah, vice president of VHPA for Awareness and PR and convener 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 the Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference, 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, 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.”

Ajay Shah

VP, Awareness, PR

World Hindu Council of America

Natick, Mass.

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