‘Such incidents will face full force of law’: Albanese on temple attacks.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Saturday said he assured his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that attacks on any religious buildings won’t be tolerated and anyone responsible for such incidents will face the “full force of law.”

Albanese made the remarks while speaking to Australian reporters accompanying him at the conclusion of his three-day visit to India. The comments came a day after Modi raised India’s concerns about attacks on temples and activities of pro-Khalistan elements in Australia at a summit with Albanese.

“I gave him [Modi] the assurance that Australia is a country that respects people’s faith. That we don’t tolerate the sort of extreme actions and attacks that we’ve seen on religious buildings, be they Hindu temples, mosques, synagogues, or churches,” he said while responding to a question over the assurance he gave PM Modi about protecting temples in Australia.

He added, “This has no place in Australia and we will take every action through our police and also our security agencies to make sure that anyone responsible for this faces the full force of the law. We’re a tolerant multicultural nation, and there is no place in Australia for this activity.”

Albanese, who was headed to the US for a meeting with President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, during which the leaders will chart the way forward on the AUKUS alliance, said he had briefed Modi about Australia’s plans to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

Asked if he had spoken to Modi and other leaders in the Pacific on the AUKUS arrangement, Albanese replied: “We are taking appropriate action. I confirm that I briefed Prime Minister Modi, one on one. I treated him with the respect that he deserves, and briefings are taking place, as appropriate, with other countries.”

According to reports, Australia is set to buy five nuclear-powered submarines from the US under the AUKUS arrangement before more submarines with British designs and US technology are built for the country. The agreement also envisages the supply of other advanced weapons to Australia.

Following the first annual India-Australia summit on Friday, Modi referred to the attacks on temples in Australia at a joint media interaction with Albanese.

Describing people-to-people ties as a major pillar of bilateral relations, Modi said news of such incidents “worries the people in India”. He added that Albanese had assured him the safety of the Indian community is a “special priority”.

Albanese, who had not responded on the issue at the media interaction, said on Saturday that he will be back in India in September for the G20 Summit. “That will be of great significance. India is a world power. It’s a major economy, but it also is a developing economy,” he said.

“So it can play a central role in providing that bridge between north and south that is so important going forward…And then Prime Minister Modi has also invited me back for another bilateral at the end of the year, but we’ll have further discussions and arrangements about that,” he added.

Source- Hindustan Times.