At 1330 hours IST on 15th March, Monday, some Kaurs in the Sikh Sangat Gurudwara in East London spotted an unknown person running down from the top floor.
A few minutes later flames were seen blazing from Babaji's room that houses the Saroops of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Seven Saroops of Guru Granth Sahib Ji were lost to flames. The London Fire Brigade confirmed that 75 per cent of the building and the roof had been damaged and collapsed because of the fire. The building itself may take months to repair but the emotional damage may be very difficult to heal.
The Gurudwara was more than just a place of worship, it was the heart and soul of a community. It is one of London's most important Guurdwara. The building dates back to 1854 and was formerly a synagogue and before that a Church. The building was taken over by the Sikhs in 1979 and converted into a Gurudwara.
As flames leapt and smoke billowed out, Sikh hearts cried at the thought of holy scriptures of Sri Guru Granth Sahib getting burnt inside this most famous of the London gurdwaras. That it was a result of a racist attack only added to the pain of the community and a sense of frustration at a time when Sikhs are struggling to tell the western world who they are, and how their religion preaches universal brotherhood.
This group showcases the unity of the Sikh Panth in this hour of shock and grief.
Please note this is an offical statement form the gurudwara website:http://www.gurdwarasikhsangatharleygrove.co.uk/index.html
Official Statement of the Executive Committee of the Gurdwara Sikh Sangat
Tuesday, 17 March 2009:
On Monday the 16th March 2009 at approximately 1.30pm, whilst some women were attending a Satsang a male person unknown to the worshipers entered the Temple through a side entrance. One of the worshipers came from the main hall and confronted the intruder coming down from the top floor and inquired why he was in the building. He replied that he had come to meet someone and then ran out.
Shortly after a fire was discovered coming from the top floor Sachkhand room (this room is where the Guru Grant Shaibs/holy books are kept) within the Temple complex.
The fire brigade was duly called, but unfortunately the fire had spread to such a degree that they were unable to control this resulted in substantial damage being caused to the Temple rendering it unusable for the foreseeable future.
It is our opinion that the fire was started by this intruder who intended to cause maximum damage to the building with complete disregard to the safety of the worshipers by burning down the room and the contents which is most sacred to the Sikhs.
We are unsure of the motives behind this incident and are providing our full support to the Police and Fire Authority with their investigation.
We would also request if anyone has any information or can assist the police in any way, please contact them on the following numbers:
Lime House Police Station - 020 7275 4750, and/or
Crime stoppers - 0800 555 111
This is just horrible, And the worst thing is there has Been HARDLY ANY COVERAGE on the television in UK, USA, CANADA or India. I dont even know what to say. All i really can say, is spread the word! As the media isn't doing it's part! I hope they find the gang or whoever is responsible for this ASAP.
*information credit - Facebook Group*
*A picture taken of the graffiti, done by a Gang in London*
' SET YOUR BOOK ON FIRE'
'FROM LONDON FIELDS'
by book they probabaly mean, our Guru Granth Sahib,
which has the prayers inside of it,
like the quran for muslims or bible