A prominent Sikh campaigner has called for "justice" after his community was accused of vandalising a Hindu temple.
Scrawled black writing along a Brisbane temple wall called for a reckoning over an historic massacre of Sikhs in India saying "Hindu [commit] Sikh 1984 genocide" and "Modi terrorist".
The March 3 graffiti was painted over but simmering tensions remain.
Queensland Police isn't convinced the vandalism was caused by a Sikh offender, according to a Right to Information (RTI) document obtained by applicant Bhabishan Singh Goraya.
"The graffiti may have been done by the Hindus themselves in order to generate police attention towards the [Sikhs for Justice] group," investigators' case notes that referenced intel officers in the RTI said.
Mr Goraya said his "community remains tarnished and gets no relief" after Sikhs were accused of the attack.
"We Sikhs expect justice here."
Clashes between the Indian government and Sikh separatist campaigners have intensified over the proposal to form an ethno-religious sovereign state called Khalistan.
The Indian government has faced increasing accusations of foreign interference against the Sikh diaspora in Canada, U.S and Australia.
The Sikh diaspora in Australia included around 210,000 people as of the 2021 Census.
An assassination attempt against Sikh activist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun was allegedly foiled on U.S. soil with Washington saying the Indian government may have had knowledge of the plot, the Financial Times reported on November 23.
Mr Pannun was championing overseas referendums for the formation of Khalistan and said the alleged attempted assassination was "transnational terrorism".
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said their counterintelligence was pursuing "credible allegations" linking the June 18 murder of pro-Khalistan advocate Hardeep Singh Nijjar with the Indian Government.
On September 20 Senator Penny Wong said Australia was "monitoring these developments with partners closely we will continue to do so".
An assumption of guilt
When Brisbane's Shree Laxminarayan Mandir Hindu temple was vandalised at 10pm on March 3, 2023 it was the fourth in a string of similar crimes in Australia.
Victoria Police said three Melbourne temples were vandalised with "political and racial slogans on external boundary fencing" in Mill Park, Carrum Downs and Albert Park in January.
In the lead-up to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's visit to Australia the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Temple in Rosehill, Sydney was vandalised on May 5.
NSW and Victoria Police said their investigations into these incidents are ongoing.
Modi raised the topic of vandalism with prime minister Anthony Albanese during his Australian visit in May.
"It is unfortunate that over the last few weeks we have been receiving regular news of attacks on temples in Australia," Modi said at a joint press conference.
"I expressed these feelings and concerns to PM Albanese and he has assured me that the safety of the Indian community will be a special priority for him," he said.
Twist in the investigation
Casefile documents reveal that the Brisbane investigation took a turn when officers found 30 security cameras surveilling the temple "went off-line" at 6.30pm on March 3, just hours before the alleged vandalism.
"At the advisement of the Indian Consulate of New South Wales" three new cameras had been installed at the temple at around 5.30pm, the investigation documents said.
An investigator noted in all caps in the RTI documents that "it is possible that the CCTV may have been purposely shut off".
Police filed the matter as pending further information "after exhausting several lines of enquiry".
Queensland Police said it "treats all instances of threats against cultural and religious communities with the utmost seriousness".
"Everyone in Queensland has a right to feel safe and not feel threatened or victimised," a police spokesperson said.
"The QPS urges anyone who feels threatened or fearful by the actions of others to contact police."
The Hindu temples vandalised in Australia were contacted for comment but did not respond.
The High Commission of India was contacted for comment but did not respond.