A very unfortunate and concerning incident took place at Gurdwara Sahib Woolwich.
A young man walked into the Darbar Sahib Hall whilst paat was taking place. At the time there were about 50 members of the sangat in the Darbar hall.
The young man walked in wearing shoes and no head covering, he lit a cigarette as he walked in the Darbar Hall. The individual walked towards Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, as he walked around towards the back from the left hand side a member of the sangat very quickly sought to apprehend him as he tried to reach out towards Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
During the struggle he managed to still leap forward enough to pull away the ‘Rumalla Sahib’, In doing so he has caused a tear in the Ang of the pavithar Saroop.
The young man freed himself and ran out. Some members of the sangat and Gurdwara Committee pursued him into the town centre and were able to detain him in a nearby supermarket.
The person has been arrest and kept overnight in custody to appear in magistrate’s court today. It can now be confirmed the person is already known to the police.
Also we can confirm that the person is of Panjabi heritage and may have mental health issues.
As a consequence of this person’s action a slight tear has taken place to the ‘Ang’ of Sri Guru Gra nth Sahib li.
Arrangements have been made by the Satkar Committee UK for taking away Sri Guru Granth Sahib for repair sewa of the Ang and full restoration.
The Secretary General of Sikh Council UK has personally view the CCTV footage and the damage to the Pavithar Saroop.
It is apparent from the footage the whole incident took place in a space of a few seconds from the Point of entry by the individual to when he ran from the premises.
Sikh Council UK will continue to apply utmost pressure on the police to bring about maximum charges possible.
We shall continue to work dosely with the GurdWara Sahib and relevant authorities in keeping sangat updated on any developments.
End Sikh Council UK