London's Hindu temples warned to be vigilant after second robbery in five days
By Barfi Culture Team
13th November 2018

Last week, just after Diwali and Hindu new year celebrations, a masked man broke into the Shree Swaminarayan Mandir in Willesden, north London, and stole three precious idols.

Today, another break-in at the Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Mandir in Kenton, north London, has further alarmed Hindus. Many think the two incidents are related and have warned all Hindu Temples to be vigilant.

Three precious Hari Krishna idols were stolen during the first incident last week. The mandir told police that a man in a balaclava came in during the early hours and stole them.

"We're assuming the robbers thought it was gold," said committee member Umang Jeshani, to the Brent and Kilburn Times. "There’s not much monetary value but they are highly respected and this incident has had a big impact within the community already."

This morning's robbery has also shaken London's Hindus. It's the second temple robbery in five days.

"In the early hours of this morning our beautiful mandir was unfortunately broken into. At this time we have had to close the Mandir off and allow the police and forensic teams to carry out their jobs," said a statement by the Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Mandir.

The mandir will stay closed for now and its committee said police officers were currently doing forensic examinations.

The Hindu Council UK said in a statement this morning: "We do advise all Hindu Temples to be vigilant and ensure security systems are in place and where they are in place to ensure they are in working condition."

Both mandirs are based in north-west London, where most Hindus in London live.

The MP for Harrow-West, Gareth Thomas, said: "Very concerned to hear of break-ins at two important local temples in Kenton & Willesden Green. I welcome the prompt police response and I hope the individuals responsible are caught & properly dealt with quickly."

This story will be updated with new developments.

ITV London story on the first break-in

Southall MP Virendra Sharma has raised this as a 'hate crime' in Parliament

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