Sikh Gurdwara in Edinburgh has front doors 'petrol bombed'

Sikh Gurdwara in Edinburgh has front doors 'petrol bombed'

A fire engine outside the Guru Nanak Gurdwara. Image: PA

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The leader of a Sikh temple damaged in a "petrol bomb" attack in Edinburgh says the community has been stunned and frightened by the incident.

The doors to the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Sheriff Brae were set alight around 5am on Tuesday.

No one was injured but there is said to be significant smoke damage inside the building.

The Gurdwara said a lit petrol canister was pushed through the front door of the building before the alarm was raised by a passer-by.

Scotland's Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said he was "saddened" by the attack while other faith groups have offered support to the Sikh community.


'Hateful occurrence'

Firefighters extinguished the fire at the front door and officers are now investigating along with police.

Kulbear Singh, president of the Edinburgh Sikh Gurdwara, said: "Scotland's Sikh community places an emphasis on contributing positively to society and prides itself as a vital part of a modern, multicultural Scotland.

"As such, hateful occurrences such as this are incredibly disheartening. The gurdwara is the place of sanctuary and learning. We come here every week with our family and children; it is frightening that someone would target us in this way."

Wege Singh, general secretary of the Edinburgh Sikh Gurdwara, added: "We are an active community in Edinburgh and provide free meals for the local community and educational services.

"We are appalled at this attack on a religious centre. We will not stop playing our part in this vibrant city and will work through interfaith to create an inclusive Scotland."


Nicola Sturgeon: Attack is 'appalling'

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also tweeted, saying: "This is appalling. An attack on any individual or community because of their faith or race is an attack on all of us.

"The Sikh community are a wonderful and valued part of Scotland's diverse society. They have my support and solidarity."

Inspector Andrew Johnson of Police Scotland said: "At this time we do not know if this has been a random and reckless act, or a targeted attack on the temple.

"In addition to maintaining a continued dialogue with staff within the temple, and the wider Sikh community, we will have a high-visibility presence in the area while this investigation is conducted to engage with the public and offer reassurance.

"If you believe you know something that can assist with the ongoing inquiry into this incident then please speak to the officers on patrol, contact us via 101 or make an anonymous report to Crimestoppers."