28/08/2018 15:01 BST

Police Probe Launched After Sikh Temple Attacked With Suspected Firebomb

The blaze ripped through the building in Edinburgh.

Sikh PA
Scene outside Sikh temple in Edinburgh which was firebombed

Police have launched an investigation after a suspected petrol bomb was pushed through the door of a Sikh temple in Edinburgh, setting fire to the building.

Officers were called to the blaze at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sahib on the corner of Mill Lane and Sheriff Brae at 5.05am on Tuesday.

No-one was hurt in the attack, but the fire caused extensive smoke damage and investigators are still probing the scene.

A committee member at the temple, known as a Gurdwara or “guru’s abode,” said a holy Sikh scripture inside the building was not damaged as it was upstairs.

Galab Singh added: “When I heard there was a fire I had to rush here and go upstairs to check Mahraaj’s saroops [the Sikh holy scripture] with my own eyes.

“I’m quite surprised at this attack, the Gurdwara Sahib enjoys a good relationship with the local community here.”

The organisation also posted on Facebook: “Someone tried to burn down the front door. There’s a lot of internal smoke damage, and access to Gurdwara Sahib has been denied by police, until smoke clears and is safe to enter.”

“Sri guru Granth Sahib jee’s saroops are untouched, but Devan hall has major smoke damage,” the statement added. 

Sikh PA
Damage inside the temple

Forensic officers sealed off the area after a petrol canister stuffed with a piece of cloth was found.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in Edinburgh were alerted to a fire at the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple in Sheriff Brae at around 5.05am on Tuesday 28 August.

“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attended and extinguished the flames at the front door. Some of the building’s interior also sustained smoke damage.

“A joint investigation is currently under way to determine the full circumstances surrounding this incident.”

A spokesman for the Sikh Press Association said: “It is vitally important that the public recognises there have been several attacks against Gurdwaras in the UK in recent years.

“The arson attack at the Gurdwara in Edinburgh shojuld remind everybody that the Sikh community in the UK does face some very real threats.”

The Right Rev Susan Brown, moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said it was sad that the temply had become the target of “such a hateful act”.“

“I am glad no one was injured and extend sympathy to the Sikh community in Edinburgh,” she added.

“We recognise the actions of a small minority do not reflect the good relations that exist with your local community. There is no room in Scotland for intolerance.”