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London, July 21 – The UK police has begun a hate crime inquiry into an incident in which a Sikh holy book was set on fire and tossed in a bin outside a community member’s house in Leeds, England.
An elderly Sikh man and his daughter discovered the burnt and torn Gutka Sahib outside of their home in St Anne’s Road, Headingley, on July 12.
They brought the burnt scripture to the Gurdwara Sahib temple following which a community member got in touch with the local police.
Police said they received a report of an incident that had occurred in the Headingley area at 5.03 p.m. on July 16.
“A representative of the local Sikh community reported that a holy text had been found damaged outside a Sikh community member’s address in St Anne’s Road,” the West Yorkshire police said in a statement shared on July 18.
Police said a crime has been recorded for racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage and enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of the incident including how the damaged text came to be left there.
“Any crime such as this which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by hostility or prejudice to their race or religion is treated as a hate crime, and we treat all incidents of this nature very seriously,” Leeds District Commander, Chief Superintendent Steve Dodds said.
“It is completely unacceptable for someone to deliberately damage a holy text with the aim of causing offence to the victim as a member of the Sikh community.”
A criminal investigation has been launched by detectives from Leeds District CID who are carrying out extensive enquiries to establish the full circumstances of the incident and perpetrators behind the crime.
Police said they are working closely with key community representatives to reassure them and keep them updated as the investigation progresses.