A Pakistani Muslim was arrested on Monday (May 25) for vandalising Guru Arjan Dev Ji Gurdwara in Derby, in the UK.
Condemning the attack, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh tweeted: “Shocking news of vandalism of Guru Arjan Dev Ji Gurudwara in Derby, the UK by a man of Pakistani origin, who’s been arrested. Such intolerance and hatred must end if humanity has to survive, especially when the world is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis (sic).” Various Sikh organisations have also condemned the Gurudwara attack.
According to the local media reports, the attack took place at 8.30 am local time. The terrorist smashed the front doors of the Gurudwara. As per reports, the terrorist left a message on the wall of the Gurudwara, threatening the Sikh community to support Jihad in Kashmir.
“This is an area with a multicultural community, where all have lived and worked together for many years. Especially during these times, faith-based charities have been at the forefront. This incident nor this message will create any tension between relations, but how you react to this will,” the gurudwara said in a Facebook post, PTI reported.
According to local media reports, police believe the Gurudwara attack is linked to a stabbing nearby on Normanton Road, in which a 41-year-old man was found unconscious with stab wounds. Now, that same man who was taken into police custody in connection with the incident, has also been arrested on suspicion of burglary in relation to the Gurudwara break-in.
Derbyshire Police Superintendent Gareth Meadows said: “I would like to thank the Sikh community and the local people in Normanton for their assistance with our enquiries.
“Our officers remain in the area. If you have any information in relation to these two incidents please speak to the officers or contact us using the methods stated,” he said.
British Sikh parliamentarian, Labour MP Preet Kaur Gill, said in a Twitter statement: “Very sad to see an attack on any place of worship. Thoughts are with the Derby Sangat who have been providing 500 meals a day from Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara.”
Local Derby city councillor Baggy Shanker, who is a member of the gurdwara, described the attack as “cowardly”. He said: “The police need to act promptly to deal with this individual and bring him to justice. Derby’s communities have a very long and good understanding of each other’s values and share the utmost respect for people’s beliefs.”
“This isolated issue is not any reflection on that and must be treated with firmly and quickly,” Shanker said.