TANVI S SRIVASTAVA
Devotees arrived at the Hindu temple in Bothell ast Sunday, February 15,
morning to find a hate message
written across the wall of the
It read ‘Get Out,’ with a
Swastika next to it.
“We found this on the wall at
around 9 am Sunday morning.
Must have happened Saturday
night,” said Nitya Niranjan,
chairman, Hindu Temple
Cultural Center. “Who are you
asking to get out? This is a
nation of immigrants!”
Miscreants also targeted the
Skyview Junior High School,
two blocks from the temple,
with a similar message: Muslims
The incident is first of its kind
in this quiet suburb of Seattle.
“This is the first complaint we
have received in many years,”
County Sheriff’s office.
“We are investigating the incident. Not a lot of new developments at this point. There’s no
evidence, no paint can or anything left at the scene, no one has
stepped forward with information,” she added.
Bothell is located in King and
Snohomish counties of
Washington State. Detective
Sergeant Clint Beck, City of
Bothell, said “Hate graffiti direct-
ed towards religion or race are
rare around here. Detectives
from both the counties are going
to investigate it together.”
The hate message did not
dampen the spirits of the Indian-
American community living
“There is absolutely no fear or
discomfort,” said Devraj Sharma,
a volunteer at the temple.
“We are going about our day as
Ramesh Kumar Bhambru, a
regular visitor to the temple,
said, “Nearly 1,000 people were
here for Shivratri celebrations
Sunday night. It goes on to show
people do not have a fear of
coming to the temple. One stray
incident doesn’t mean we’ll live
How have the neighborhood
and authorities reacted to the
“We have received e-mails
from neighbors of other communities saying they are sorry
this happened. They also came
in the morning with a bouquet,” said Sharma.
Niranjan said, “This incident
has shown us kindness and
love of our neighbors and
other religious organizations.
Government official are effi-
cient and prompt in their
The temple has decided to
upgrade its safety measures.
“New surveillance cameras
were scheduled to be installed in
the first week of March. Instead,
we are installing them now.
There’s also a talk of neighborhood watch,” said Niranjan.
At press time, no group had
claimed responsibility for the
incident. But there were speculations.
“Could be kids on spring (mid-
winter) break writing on the
wall,” said Sergeant Beck. “That’s
a definite possibility, but we do
not know for sure.”
Bhambru had similar views: “It
must be misguided kids from the
“Iwas thinking about his last min- utes,” said Lovely Varughese, after a memorial service last week at the
spot in the woods in Carbondale, Illinois,
where her son Pravin Varughese’s body was
found a year before.
Pravin, a second year student at Southern
Illinois University, died in mysterious circumstances. His family says it has found
evidences that his death was not due to
hypothermia as claimed by the police and
the coroner’s autopsy. No case has been
charged so far.
“He had nobody around him, he had
nobody to tell him they loved him and he
was all alone,” rued Pravin’s mother.
More than 150 people attended Pravin’s
Memorials held for Pravin Varughese, whose family still awaits justice
memorial. About 36 people from Chicago
traveled to Carbondale, and the local
Indian and Pakistani community joined
them on the occasion.
In a goodwill gesture, Carbondale
Interim Police Chief Jeff Grubbs,
Carbondale Police Lieutenant Mark
Goddard and Acting Mayor Don Monty
led the people through the woods to the
spot where Pravin’s body was found
February18, 2014. Considering that the
area might be private property, Lovely had
earlier informed the police about the
The prayers were led by Reverend Biju P
Simon, Reverend Sonu Varghese, and
Deacon Liju Paul. The family placed flow-
ers and wept.
Also present were a few professors and a
dean from the university, and Pravin’s
The family of Molly Young, 21, another
SIU student who died from a gunshot The family placed flowers and wept.
Hindu temple vandalized
in Seattle suburb
The hate messages, and the solidarity