Page last updated at 13:11 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 14:11 UK

Reward to catch temple 'arsonist'

Fire at Gurdwara Sikh Sangat
Several worshippers were in the temple when the fire began

Members of an east London Sikh temple which was destroyed in a suspected arson attack have offered a £50,000 reward towards catching the culprit.

A fire broke out at Gurdwara Sikh Sangat in Harley Grove, Bow, on 16 March, damaging the building and destroying several Sikh holy books.

No-one has been arrested over the fire which police described as suspicious.

Temple authorities said they need to raise at least £4m to rebuild the temple which was gutted in the fire.

Community 'devastated'

Devotees plan to hold a demonstration outside the 30-year-old temple, which is important to London's Sikh community, later on Friday.

Part of the temple has been demolished following the fire eight weeks ago which destroyed 75% of the building and resulted in the collapse of the roof.

Jagmohan Singh, a temple trustee, said the reward was aimed at securing the arrest and conviction of the intruder or arsonist who was spotted by a witness.

He said: "This is a cause of concern for us that nobody has been arrested at the present moment, therefore now we are becoming proactive in order to facilitate their (police) investigation."

Damage due to fire at Gurdwara Sikh Sangat
The temple was completely gutted in the blaze

He said the community was devastated.

Several people were in the temple when the fire began in a top-floor room which housed Guru Granth Sahibs (Sikh holy books).

Earlier a statement from temple authorities said one worshipper stopped and questioned a man who was seen running from the building minutes before the fire was spotted.



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