Derbyshire Police arrested a man accused of vandalising a gurudwara and wounding a community member at Derby.
Mohammed Ibrar (31), of Cromwell Road, Derby, has been charged with wounding with intent and burglary. He appeared before Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning and was remanded into prison custody.
Pakistani origin Ibrar vandalised the Gurudwara and smashed glass pans besides putting a poster on Kashmir during the attack.
The CCTV footages showed Ibrar smashing glass doors of the gurdwara. The man also left a note in broken English mentioning Kashmir on the walls of the gurdwara.
Giani Harpreet Singh of Akal Takth condemned the attack and appealed to the community to remain calm. He said the Gurudwara will open as normal and serve the community with its free kitchen and other assistance.
“Try to help Kashmir people otherwise problem everyone,” the message read, along with a phone number.
“This hate crime or any sort of crime against a Sikh will never deter us in our practice of seva (service) and simran (prayer). We will continue the service for the community with langar and continue to stream live nitnem (daily prayers). We will ensure the safety of all our sevadars (volunteers) and employees,” the Gurudwara officials said in a statement.
“I know this is a very upsetting incident not only because this is a place of worship but the alleged actions of the individual involved have a wider impact across the community,” said Chief Superintendent David Cox. “I am taking this incident very seriously and I have a team of detectives who are working through the full circumstances of what has taken place.
“As this investigation progresses I hope we will gain a clearer understanding of what happened.
“This was a challenging incident to respond with multiple scenes and multiple calls for service within minutes. I would like to thank those members of the community who assisted the police yesterday.
“This is being treated as a hate crime. Throughout yesterday and today we have been in continued dialogue with the Sikh community and local officers will be more visible in the area to make sure both those associated with the Gurdwara and the wider community feel safe.
Police were called just before 8.40am on Monday to reports that the Guru Arjan Dev Sikh Gurdwara in Stanhope Street had been broken into. Another call came in minutes later to say that a man had been stabbed inside the Polanica shop, in Normanton Road, Normanton.
On arrival, officers found a 41-year-old man with injuries. The man was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre for treatment and was later discharged.