Gurdwara attacked in UK hate crime; damage worth thousands of pounds on premises
Accused arrested, gurdwara management says no one was injured in the incident and the clean-up process has begunUpdated: May 26, 2020 10:29 IST
Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara in Derby was subjected to hate crime on Monday morning when a person entered the premises and caused damage worth thousands of pounds, gurdwara officials said.
Labour MP Preet Kaur Gill regretted the incident. “Very sad to see an attack on any place of worship. Thoughts are with the Derby sangat (community) who have been providing 500 meals a day from Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara,” she said.
Images of the person caught on CCTV entering the premises were shared by the gurdwara on social media, while reporting the incident, causing concern and demands for his arrest.
The gurdwara said in a statement: “This morning at 6am, an individual entered the gurdwara premises causing thousands of pounds of damage…We can confirm that no individuals were injured and that the clean-up process has begun.”
“This hate crime or any sort of crime against a Sikh will never deter us in our practice of seva (service) and simran (prayer). We will continue the service for the community with langar and continue to stream live nitnem (daily prayers). We will ensure the safety of all our sevadars (volunteers) and employees,” it added.
Gurdwaras across the UK have been recipients of funding as part of a government scheme to install security equipment to prevent hate crime in places of worship, but such incidents have continued.
The accused has been arrested. The Derbyshire police said, “The Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara on Cromwell Road was broken into and we believe the assault and break in are linked. We were called just before 8.40am with reports of the break in, which is understood to have happened sometime in the early hours.”
“A man who was earlier arrested in connection with the assault in Normanton Road has also been arrested on suspicion of burglary in relation to this incident. We would like to reassure the local community that our investigations into both incidents continue and we do not believe there to be any one else involved,”police said.
Superintendent Gareth Meadows said: “I would like to thank the Sikh community and the local people in Normanton for their assistance with our enquiries. Our officers remain in the area, if you have any information in relation to these two incidents please speak to the officers or contact us .”