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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 April, 2004, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Police probe Sikh temple attacks
Firefighters tackle car fire. Image: Paul Gillis, Western Daily Press
Three cars have been set alight at the temple in eight days
Undercover police from the Race Hate Crime Unit are investigating a series of attacks at a Sikh temple in Bristol.

Cars have been set alight and shots have been fired through windows of the gurdwara in Church Road.

There have been arson attacks on three cars in eight days - the last of which, on Sunday, was on a vehicle belonging to a priest, or granthi.

Avon and Somerset Police are trying to work out whether the crimes are race-motivated or instances of vandalism.

The previous weekend, shots were fired from an air or pellet gun into the second floor window of the Siri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara.

Shots were also fired at the temple during an incident on Christmas Eve.

On Sunday, officers carried out house-to-house enquiries, forensically examined the vehicle, and interviewed people at the temple.

'Unacceptable situation'

Detective Sergeant Simon Hughes, from the Hate Crime Unit, said :"We are treating both of these incidents extremely seriously.

"We have to keep an open mind at this stage about the motivation, but one of the scenarios we have to consider is that it is racially-motivated.

"Luckily, no-one has been hurt but this is a totally unacceptable situation and we want to know who is responsible.

"The Sikh community built up this temple from a derelect building, ten years ago, and it is a community resource.

"It is shameful that they have been targeted in this way, and totally unacceptable that people from the community now feel afraid to visit their place of worship.

"We are determined to find the people responsible."


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