Gov. Murphy calls alleged living conditions at Hindu temple ‘horrific’
Gov. Phil Murphy says that the living conditions at a Hindu temple in Robbinsville that is under construction are “horrific.”
The FBI is investigating the BAPS temple, while the state Department of Labor filed a work stoppage order against a contractor at the site last month.
A federal lawsuit alleges that over 100 men were brought to the United States from India to work at the site for as little as $1.20 per hour. One man died at the site after he was allegedly subjected to forced labor.
“This is nothing about disrespecting the religion or their houses of worship, but…nobody can live in the conditions that are being alleged here and being paid what they're being paid. All on false premises. It's awful,” Murphy said.
The governor attended an event at the temple in 2017 while he was running for governor. He said on Wednesday that this was not a campaign event.
A spokesperson for BAPS said in a statement, "We were first made aware of the accusations early Tuesday morning, we are taking them very seriously and are thoroughly reviewing the issues raised."