LONDON: A Pakistani man, who was trying to mobilise Sikhs against India over Kashmir in England, attacked the Guru Arjan Dev shrine in Derby on Monday morning. He was later identified and arrested.
As per the statement of the gurdwara, at around 6 a.m., “an individual entered the gurdwara premises causing thousands of pounds of damage. We can confirm that no individual was injured and that the clean-up process has begun.”
The gurdwara described the vandalisation of the shrine as a hate crime. The CCTV footages of the person, copies of which were accessed by the IANS, showed smashed glass doors of the gurdwara, glass shards scattered all over the floor and a man inside the premises.
The vandal left a hand-written note in broken English on a piece of paper in the gurdwara, making an appeal to Sikhs to “help people in Kashmir”. Strangely, besides scribbling ‘Pak Allah Pak’ in a corner of the paper, he had also provided a phone number.
Police later identified the man and arrested him, sources told IANS.
In its statement, the shrine authorities said, “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.”
The shrine is dedicated to the fifth of the 10 Sikh gurus who compiled the first official edition of the Sikh scripture ‘Adi Granth’.
Attacks on Indians and Indian-origin people in London are rampant. Last year in August, Indians and people of Indian origin, who had gathered outside the Indian High Commission in London to celebrate the 73rd Independence Day of India, were abused and pelted with eggs and water bottles by Pakistan-sponsored protesters.