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Oz police say gurdwara fire 'suspicious'

Amid concerns voiced by the Sikh community here over a fire incident at a gurdwara, Australian police have said they were treating the blaze as "suspicious", but were yet to establish whether race or religion had motivated the arsonists.

world Updated: Jan 14, 2010 15:16 IST

Amid concerns voiced by the Sikh community here over a fire incident at a gurdwara, Australian police have said they were treating the blaze as "suspicious", but were yet to establish whether race or religion had motivated the arsonists.

The partially-built Nanksar Thath Gurdwara in Lynbrook area here was damaged due to the fire that broke out at 0030
hrs local time yesterday (1900 hrs IST Tuesday).

Detective Senior Constable Paul Stow, in charge of the investigation, said the fire was being treated as suspicious.

However, detectives were yet to find out whether the incident had any race race or religion angle to it, 'The Australian'
reported today.

"At this stage there is nothing to suggest it is (race-related) other than the fact that it happened to a
temple," Detective Constable Stow was quoted as saying.

"... It is believed to have been set on fire with the use of molotov cocktails early yesterday," the report said.

In New Delhi, an External Affair Ministry spokesperson said India has taken up the incident with Australia.

"Our Consulate in Melbourne is in the process of ascertaining details from the Gurudwara Management Committee
and also following up on the incident with Australian authorities," the spokesperson said.

Members of the Sikh community visited the gurdwara yesterday to survey the damage.