A popular gurdwara and a mosque were set on fire in arson attacks at the same time in English city of Leeds with the police treating them as hate crimes.
As per reports, the Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque in Hardy Street, Beeston, was attacked, along with the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in Lady Pit Lane. The main door of the mosque had been set on fire at about 3.45am (local time) on Tuesday. A few minutes later, the door of the gurdwara was also set on fire, the report said. The Sikh Press Association said a petrolfilled bottle had been set alight at the gurdwara’s doorstep, triggering a smoke alarm. The fire brigade and the police dealt with the fire quickly, they said.
Detective Inspector Richard Holmes, of Leeds District CID, is reported to have said, “We are treating both these incidents as linked given the closeness of the locations and the similar times that they have occurred. We do believe these premises have been targeted as places of worship and we are treating both incidents as arsons and hate crimes.” Richard Holmes added “We are treating both these incidents as linked given the closeness of the locations and the similar times that they have occurred.”
“We are currently carrying out extensive enquiries, including checks on CCTV in both areas, and we would like to hear from anyone who has witnessed any suspicious activity or seen any person or vehicles in the areas around the time these incidents have occurred,” Richard Holmes said.
In a statement, representatives of the Gurdwara said: “We have attended a police emergency meeting 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.