Police investigate petrol bomb attack on Sikh temple in Edinburgh

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Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sahib in Sheriff Brae Pic: Brian Innes

A petrol bomb attack on a Sikh temple in Edinburgh is being treated as a hate crime.

No-one was injured in the incident at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sahib, which is on the corner of Mill Lane and Sheriff Brae in Leith, at 05:05 but the building was damaged.

Detectives believe whoever was responsible deliberately targeted the temple.

Fire caused extensive smoke damage and police have appealed for witnesses.

A committee member at the temple said a holy Sikh scripture inside the building was not damaged as it was upstairs.

Galab Singh, a committee member of the Gurdwara Sahib said: "When I heard there was a fire I had to rush here and go upstairs to check Mahraaj's saroops [the Sikh holy scripture] with my own eyes.

"I'm quite surprised at this attack, the Gurdwara Sahib enjoys a good relationship with the local community here."

Ravjeet Singh, Sikh Council UK chairman of community safety, said it was offering its support, and everyone was relieved there had been no injuries.

He added: "We are also getting in touch with Police Scotland to convey the gravity of the community's concerns over this attack and to seek assurance the investigation will fully pursue all lines of inquiry including race and religious hate crime.

"This is the second such attack this year at a Gurdwara and is a worrying development."

Det Insp Clark Martin, of Police Scotland, 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."

Image source, Galab Singh
Image caption,
Inside the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sahib in Sheriff Brae

The Right 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."

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