Sikh Gurdwara and Mosque in UK set on fire, man arrested




Sikh Gurdwara and Mosque in UK set on fire, man arrested

The Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara was attacked alongwith The Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque in Hardy Street, Beeston,UK.

The main door of the mosque in south of the city centre had been set on fire at about 3.45am (local time) yesterday. A few minutes later, the door of the Gurdwara was also set on fire.

A 42 year old man has been arrested in suspicion of in what police have described as linked hate crimes.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze before it had a chance to spread, and damage was confined to the door and surrounding brickwork.

The Sikh Press Association said a bottle filled with petrol had been set alight at the doorstep of the Gurdwara, triggering a smoke alarm. Residents called the fire brigade and the police and the fire was quickly dealt with.

Detective Inspector Richard Holmes, of Leeds District CID, said: “We are treating both these incidents as linked given the closeness of the locations and the similar times that they have occurred.”

“While our investigation is still at a relatively early stage, we do believe these premises have been specifically targeted as places of worship and we are treating both incidents as arsons and hate crimes.”

“We are currently carrying out extensive enquiries, including checks on CCTV in both areas, and we would like to hear from anyone who has witnessed any suspicious activity or seen any person or vehicles in the areas around the time these incidents have occurred.”

“Clearly we will always treat incidents of this nature very seriously and will be doing everything we can to identify those responsible and bring them to justice,” he added.

Inspector Ian O’Brien, who heads neighbourhood policing for south Leeds, said: “These incidents will cause an understandable level of concern in both the Muslim and Sikh communities in this area and we are working closely with key representatives from those communities to reassure them.

“Although it appears both locations have been specifically targeted as places of worship for these communities, there is nothing at this stage to suggest they are part of any wider pattern.”

“We have increased our patrols of the area to provide visible reassurance to people living there and will continue to keep key community representatives informed as the investigation develops.”

“Hate crimes that target particular communities and have the potential to cause divisions and tensions cannot and will not be tolerated and we will continue to do everything we can to find those responsible and support and reassure the communities affected.”