Indian-Origin MP in UK Calls for Treating Temple Burglaries as Hate Crimes

first_imgAn Indian-origin British MP has asked the British government if the recent burglaries in two Hindu temples in London can be treated as hate crimes. He also appealed that it should not be ignored by the police.Virendra Sharma, Labor MP from Ealing Southall, raised the question in the House of Commons on Nov.13 regarding actions against the culprits of recent break-ins at two Swami Narayan Temples in London.Shree Kutch Satsang Swami Narayan Temple in Kenton and Shree Swami Narayan Temple in Willesden recently suffered break-ins during the early hours of Nov.9 and Nov.13 respectively. Three Krishna idols were stolen from Willesden temple.“Within the last week, two separate Hindu temples, the Shree Swaminarayan temple in Willesden and the Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan temple in Kenton, have been broken into and religious icons have been stolen,” Sharma said while giving a background to his question, which is available on UK parliament’s website.“Can the Minister confirm that these will be treated as hate crimes and not just ignored by the police, given that they targeted people of one faith?” he asked.Condemning these incidents, David Gauke, Secretary of State for Justice said, “Those specific cases will be a matter for the police and for the Crown Prosecution Service.”Gauke further said, “If the activity of this sort is targeted on the basis of religious belief, that is completely unacceptable and I am sure that the whole House is united in condemning it.”While speaking to Business Line newspaper, Sharma said that he wants police to keep the possibility open to term these incidents as a hate crime and not as simple burglary.While talking to the newspaper, he not only pointed toward the increasing hate crimes against Muslims but also mentioned the vandalism of WWI statue of a Sikh soldier last week.The publication quoted Sharma as saying, “Given the way society is developing, given the way some sections of society are going around and spreading hatred and intolerance, I strongly feel that people should keep open that possibility.” Related Itemslast_img

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