Durham Regional Police have identified the suspect behind multiple break-and-enters at Hindu temples this year in Canada, and he has been held for a bail hearing, the Durham Regional Police said in a media release.
Recently, in October, the 41-year-old Jagdish Pandher from Brampton was caught committing additional break-and-enters at Hindu temples in Canada’s Pickering and Ajax.
According to a media release by the Durham Regional Police, on October 8, at approximately 12:45 am, members of the West Division responded to reports of a break-and-enter in progress at a Hindu temple in the area of Bayly Street and Krosno Boulevard in Pickering.
“A male was seen on security surveillance breaking into the temple and taking a large quantity of cash from the donation boxes,” the release stated.
However, he fled the area before the police’s arrival but was seen on surveillance footage later that morning committing “additional break-and-enters at Hindu temples in Pickering and Ajax.”
The investigators have linked the same suspect to numerous other break-and-enters at Hindu temples throughout the year.
“These break-and-enters occurred in the Durham Region and around the Greater Toronto Area,” the release said.
According to the release, although these offences occurred at places of worship, they do not appear to be hate crimes or motivated by hate.
Jagdish Pandher is facing charges for numerous offences, including break-and-enter place other than dwelling x4, possessing property obtained by crime under USD 5000 x4, break-and-enter with intent x1, and breach of probation x5, the release highlighted.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident on December 27, shots were fired at the residence of an Indian-origin man in Canada’s Surrey in the early morning. The incident took place at the residence of the son of Satish Kumar, the president of Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, in Surrey. The incident happened at a residence in the 14900 block of 80 Avenue, Surrey. Reportedly, no one was injured during the incident.
Earlier in August this year, a Hindu temple was vandalised in Canada by extremist elements with Khalistan referendum posters in the late hours of Saturday, Australia Today reported. The incident happened in British Columbia, Canada. This wass not the first such attack on Hindu temples in Canada. Multiple such incidents have been carried out by Khalistani extremists. Several incidents were also recorded this year. In April this year, BAPS Swaminarayan temple was vandalised with anti-India graffiti in Windsor Ontario, Canada. Earlier in February, the Ram Mandir in Canada’s Mississauga was vandalised with anti-India graffiti. The Consulate General of India in Toronto condemned the defacing of the Mandir and requested Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action against the perpetrators.
(with inputs from ANI)