An incident took place at Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) Gurdwara, Lady Pit Lane, Beeston, Leeds around 4am this morning when someone attempted to set the Gurdwara on fire. The smoke from the front door triggered the alarm and the situation was contained. A nearby mosque was also targeted around the same time.
We have attended a police emergency meeting today at 1:00 pm and have been assured by the Chief of Police that they are doing all they can to catch the criminals and will add extra police patrols in the area. They are working through the CCTV footage from around the mosque.
Focusing on south Leeds and the wider city, especially around all Gurdwaras and mosques, there will be more police presence strengthened by Leeds City Council community watch via CCTV.
If anyone in Leeds experiences any sort of hate crime incident they can report this to the Gurdwara Hate Crime Reporting Centre in partnership with the Police.
Fire prevention officers can be invited to visit all Gurdwaras to help make sure we have adequate provisions in place.
It is damaging for children to see their Gurdwara or mosque threatened like this. The police are happy to come to talk to children if the community feels this will not deter youngsters coming to the Gurdwara on their own.
Though this incident is days after Tommy Robinson’s court trial in Leeds, there is no evidence connecting this hate crime event with Tommy Robinson.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Dalbir Singh Sagoo, coordinator of GNNSJ Sikh community Hate Crime forum based in Guru said: “Everyone must be more vigilant and must report any suspicious activity to the Hate Crime Reporting Centre in the Gurdwara or directly to the Police . We thank Waheguru for saving us all today as the Gurdwara is preparing the 35th barsi of Sikh Saint Sant Baba Puran Singh Ji Kericho-wale who initiated the GNNSJ organisation.”
Dalbir Singh Sagoo on behalf of Jathedar Pritpal Singh Dhanjal