Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sikhs fear more attacks after Lynbrook temple blaze

CRANBOURNE’S Sikh community says it is under attack after yesterday’s deliberately lit fire in a partially-built Lynbrook temple.

Police are still investigating the blaze, which started at about 12.30am inside the Nanaksar Sikh Temple.

It is the latest in a string of incidents at the Evans Rd site during the past 12 months, including graffiti, theft, break-ins and petty vandalism.

Speaking to the Leader, Raj Singh said the community was “angry and very upset.’’

“Racist sentiment seems to be boiling over at the moment and it looks to us as if we are being targeted,” Mr Singh said.

“We’re a peace-loving people. We believe all religions are good and we all worship the same one God. We just want to be abel to live in peace.”

Mr Singh said the damage was negligible.

“It is the psychological damage that is the real concern,’’ he said.

“To think that the surrounding community is targeting us like this is extremely upsetting to us.’’

Mr Singh said the 900-strong congregation ultimately hoped to build a school and retirement village on the 13ha site, making it a self-contained community.

“We want to be a part of the Cranbourne community. This is our home now. We’ve been here since 1988,’’ he said.

Builder Paul Birch said he was disgusted and angered by the “mindless destruction.’’

“There’s just no logic to it. They are harmless people,’’ Mr Birch said.

“We will be looking into security guards or dogs to put an end to this once and for all.’’

Police are urging anyone with information to call Casey CIU Det-Sen-Constable Paul Stowe on 9705 3111

with thanks : source :


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