Sikh temple damaged in 'petrol bomb' attack

Police investigating a "petrol bomb" attack on a Sikh temple in Edinburgh say it is not known if it was a random or targeted incident.

Tuesday, 28th August 2018, 3:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 8:21 am
The doors to the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Sheriff Brae, Edinburgh, which were deliberately set alight around 5am on Tuesday causing significant smoke damage. Photo credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

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.

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

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

A post on the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Edinburgh Facebook page said: "Someone tried to burn down the front door. There's alot of internal smoke damage, and access to Gurdwara sahib has been denied by police, until smoke clears and is safe to enter.

"Sri guru Granth Sahib jee's saroops (scripture text) are untouched, but Devan hall has major smoke damage."

Mr Yousaf tweeted: "Saddened at the news that a Sikh temple in Edinburgh was petrol-bombed today.

"I know @policescotland will investigate thoroughly.

"Solidarity with my Sikh friends and Sikh Community across Scotland."

Rt Rev Susan Brown, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: "How sad that a place of worship should be the target of such a hateful act. I am glad no one was injured and extend sympathy to the Sikh community in Edinburgh.

"We recognise the actions of a small minority do not reflect the good relations that exist with your local community. There is no room in Scotland for intolerance."

Police Scotland said it is not known if it was "a random and reckless act, or a targeted attack" on the temple.

Detective Inspector Clark Martin said: "Fortunately, the fire was extinguished relatively quickly and no on was injured, but nevertheless we are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness.

"Anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity around the temple, or in the Sheriff Brae area during the early hours of Tuesday morning should contact police immediately.

"In addition, anyone with any further information relevant to this investigation is also asked to come forward."

Inspector Andrew Johnson 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."