The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

March 18, 2009

Sikh Gurdwara burnt in London, cops don't rule out possibility of racist attack

In a tragic incident, a place of worship of the Sikh community in London was set afire by unidentified persons. Police suspect it could be a racist attack.

The Sikh Sangat Gurdwara in East London that was established nearly three decades ago was set afire, said reports reaching here on Tuesday night. Large parts of the building and the religious texts including Guru Granth Sahib were burnt.

Fifty fire-fighters were pressed into service but it took eight hours to douse the fire. Nearly 75% of the structure was burnt. Eyewitnesses said an intruder who tried to reach the holiest place inside the Gurudwara, was intercepted by women.

He later ran away but soon the building was in flames. Women devotees tried to put out the fire by throwing buckets full of water but failed to stop the fire from spreading.

It is suspected that the attack on Sikh temple could be the handiwork of racist gangs. There was racist graffiti seen on the walls of the Gurdwara recently. The police are working on the clues to findout the group or person involving in the setting the famous Britain Gurudwara ablaze.

England has a large Sikh population, mostly immigrants from India. Sikhs are among the biggest religious groups in the country along with Muslims and Hindus. There have been sporadic incidents of racism against the community lately.

TIH Bureau

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