A local Hindu temple under construction has been hit by vandals several times in the last few months, spray painted anti-Semitic slurs, breaking windows and trashing the inside. It’s costing the religious institution precious time and money so they can, one day, begin worship there.
But on Sunday, trespassers were caught on camera inside the temple.
The Shri Lakshmi Mandir temple is located at 317 S. Old Benoist Road, just off of Southern Blvd in unincorporated West Palm Beach.
“We’re ready to rebuild but it and this happened in the past five months,” said Intaz Dinalli, the president of the Palm Beach Sanatan Vaidic Society.
The outside of the temple is covered with hate they can only try to cover up.
“Wherever you see paint around, where we have painted over those, were all graffiti things that I can’t even say on camera,” he said.
A tour around the building, we see more damage
“I’m not an expert, but it appears this window was broken from the inside,” he says.
Inside there was debris everywhere with paint and oil dumped. And curiously, a tent.
On Sunday, their new security cameras shows two people setting it up. Zoom in on one photo and you get a good look at one of their faces.
“Hopefully, maybe somebody has seen something, heard something, seen something. Maybe somebody recognizes somebody in the pictures and maybe we can bring these culprits to justice,” he says.
Dinalli has struggled to figure out what their intention is.
“I wish I had a crystal ball to tell you that. But right now, it just makes no sense to me,” he says. “When you look around, if you look at this it’s disheartening.”
Oct. 19 happens to be Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. They hope to celebrate it next year at the temple with this evil behind them.
“Our intention is to bring the Hindus in this community together and have a place of worship. A place to come out,” he says.
If you recognize the two intruders in the photo, please call the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.