May 26, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Derby, England: A man attacked Guru Arjan Dev Ji Gurdwara Sahib in Derby on May 25. The man’s act was captured in CCTV who was later arrested by local police.
As per reports the police did not disclose arrested person’s identity.
According to reports from KTV, the man smashed his way through a glass door to enter the Gurdwara and cause more damage. The man then fled without encountering any sevadaars that were present.
Illogical Reference to Kashmir:
The man also left a note which illogically referred to issues in Kashmir as a reason for the attack.
“Attacking the Gurdwara based on Indian state oppression against Kashmir seems particularly idiotic given the fact the Gurdwara supports the Khalistan movement, for a free Sikh homeland in India, a movement similar to sentiments of many Kashmiri activists”, notes a report by the Sikh Press Association (SikhPA).
Sikh Activists Concerned About Police’s Profiling of the Case:
Sikh activists have also expressed concerns about Derbyshire police’s profiling of the case.
The police reportedly attempted profile the attack as an incident of burglary ignoring the fact that nothing was stolen from the Gurdwara Sahib.
A report by SikhPA notes: “Iqbal Singh Cheema a member of the committee and local councillor, have explicitly stated there was nothing stolen and the attack was clearly politically motivated and thus by definition a terror attack”.
“In another sinister twist, the same man is being linked to a stabbing that happened in a nearby Polish shop around the same time, resulting in a 41-year-old left unconscious with stab wounds, reported by Derby Telegraph later that afternoon. Some pointed out that the Derby media coverage of the incident failed to include information about the much publicised note that was left, and instead stuck to the police’s “burglary” narrative”, the SikhPA report reads further.
Statement by Guru Arjan Dev Ji Gurdwara:
The management of Guru Arjan Dev Ji Gurdwara Sahib (Derby) released following statement about the incident:
“We can confirm that the individual who entered the Gurdwara and caused damage has been apprehended by the police. From the evidence obtained thus far, the males attire and the note which was left, appears that he is of Muslim background. This is an area with a multi-cultural community, where all have lived and worked together for many years. Especially during these times faith based charities have been at the fore front. This incident nor this message will create any tensions between relations, but how you reach to this will. We acknowledge this may be an individual or a small group however we should not malign the whole Muslim community and therefore request people to refrain from such posts”.
Derby Jamia Mosque Imaam Condemns Incident:
In a statement Allama Mufti Fazal Ahmed Qadri, Senior Imaam of Derby Jamia Mosque said: “[w]e strongly condemn such acts of Vandalism/ hate crime against places of worship”.
“We encourage community cohesion, and have an excellant relationship with ALL faith groups, and criminal acts like this will not disrupt the harmony within our great community”, he added.
Giani Harpreet Singh Condemns Incident:
Giani Harpreet Singh, SGPC appointed acting Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib, has also condemned attack on Guru Arjan Dev Ji Gurdwara Sahib, Derby. He said that Sikhs always take initiatives to serve humanity in accordance of doctrine of sarbat da bhala and in the times of coronavirus pandemic, Guru Arjan Dev Ji Gurdwara Sahib is also serving Langar and extending helping hand to all in need without any discrimination. He said that the attack was very unfortunate. He said that authorities should take proper steps to ensure the safety of Sikhs residing in England.
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