Hindu American Foundation Condemns Bomb Attack on ISCKON Temple in India

Washington, D.C. (August 16, 2006) - The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) strongly condemned the attack on the ISKCON temple in Imphal, in the Northeastern State of Manipur, India. At least five people have died and nearly 50 others injured. According to news reports, the bomb exploded in the complex of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Imphal on the evening of August 16, 2006 when the temple was crowded with devotees observing the holy day of Sri Krishna Janmasthami. Among the dead were a 10-year-old boy and a 70-year-old woman, and the chief priest of the ISKCON temple was injured in the attack. Some reports have blamed Islamic terrorists for the attack, and news agency reports have alluded to the separatist movements in the region which may be behind the attack.

“Whoever is responsible for this knows that India and Hindus are soft targets”, said Ramesh Rao, HAF Executive Council Member. “This attack on the ISKCON temple that serves all devotees and all visitors with welcome arms is an example of the lengths that terrorists go to undermine the fabric of India and to provoke religious and sectarian conflict.” Ishani Chowdhury, Executive Director, HAF remarked, “The ISKCON temple attack is the latest in a series of attacks against Hindus and Indian targets. In October 2005, we expressed shock at the Delhi bombings that killed more than 60 people during the festival of Deepavali (Diwali), and in March 2006, we were deeply dismayed at the attack on the Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi, which killed more than 20 people. The serial bombing of commuter trains in Mumbai in July 2006 that killed nearly 200 people is still fresh in our memory. The Indian Government should reach out to all political parties in crafting legislation that strengthens law enforcement agencies, and defeat this scourge of terrorism and extremism rather than playing politics with the lives of Indian citizens.”