Canada: At least 6 break-ins at Hindu temples in Ontario province | World News - Hindustan Times
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Canada: At least 6 break-ins at Hindu temples in Ontario province

Oct 12, 2023 05:31 PM IST

While Durham Regional Police stated about three such burglaries this month, it has now emerged that three more temples were broken into in September

At least six Hindu temples have been broken into in the province of Ontario since this September.

A CCTV grab of the suspect entering the Hindu Heritage Centre in Mississauga on October 4. (Source: Hindu Heritage Centre)
A CCTV grab of the suspect entering the Hindu Heritage Centre in Mississauga on October 4. (Source: Hindu Heritage Centre)

While Durham Regional Police issued a release on Wednesday about three such burglaries this month, it has now emerged that three more temples were broken into in September.

The Durham Police release had stated that in the early hours of October 8, there were reports of consecutive break-and-enters at three temples within its jurisdiction. These have been identified as the Devi Mandir in Pickering, Sankat Mochan Mandir in Ajax and the Hindu Mandir Durham in Oshawa.

The Devi Mandir was spared from theft from the donation boxes as the priest living in the premises, Girish Khali, pulled the fire alarm which caused the suspect to flee.

The three temples in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are the Chintpurni Temple in Brampton, which was targeted on September 9, Rameshwar Mandir in Caledon, robbed on September 18 and the Hindu Heritage Centre in Mississauga, on October 4.

Police described the suspect as 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds. He was seen wearing a blue surgical mask, black poofy jacket with tightly zipped hood, green camo cargo pants, and green running shoes. He was observed walking with a limp. CCTV footage from the Hindu Heritage Centre, viewed by the Hindustan Times, also shows the intruder walking with a limp.

In a statement on Facebook on September 22, the Rameshwar Mandir management said, “An ongoing investigation by the police is under way to apprehend those responsible for this breach of security. We are cooperating fully with the authorities in their efforts to resolve this matter swiftly.”

The statement added, “We would like to assure the public that we take this incident very seriously and will continue to prioritise the safety and well-being of our visitors, devotees and the security of our premises.”

These burglaries follow a spate of similar incidents in the GTA in late 2021 and into early last year. There were at least 18 such break-ins. Three persons were arrested in March 2022 in connection with the burglaries that had caused concern within the Indo-Canadian community.

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