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Community shaken up after temple idol targeted during prayers in London

Community shaken up after temple idol targeted during prayers in London

Metropolitan Police officers in London were called to Eelapatheeswarar Alayam temple in Wembley over the weekend following an incident that has shaken up the local community after one of mandir’s sacred idols were targeted by an aggressive intruder.

The man, who entered the Lord Shiva temple with his shoes on despite several pleas from the devotees present at the time and temple volunteers, had to be restrained after he threw one of the murtis (a sacred idol of a deity) just outside the sanctum sanctorum and smashed a diya (oil lamp) which had been lit in the sanctum sanctorum.

“One of the devotees and our volunteers managed to restrain him after he became extremely aggressive, and were successfully able to catch the murti which was thrown,” Rajasingham Jayadevan, the Founder of the temple and the General Secretary of its Board of Trustees, told iGlobal News.

“He was being very aggressive, not only towards the people present there but also towards the police after they arrived. I believe he assaulted one of the police officers too. We are very thankful and appreciative of the swift and effective response of the police. We really welcome their extra support after the truly terrifying incidence.”

Speculating on the possible motivations behind the incident, Jayadevan said: “We have lived here very peacefully and in harmony with the local mosque for the past 20 years and enjoy a relationship of mutual respect.

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“I feel like this individual’s actions may be in relation to India’s support towards Israel in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.”

The Metropolitan Police confirmed in its statement that shortly after 13:30 hrs on Saturday, 6 January, police were called to a man who had entered a Hindu temple in Ealing Road, Wembley.

“It was reported that the 22-year-old man was causing a significant disturbance inside the temple. Officers attended and the man was detained. He was taken to hospital as a precaution due to his elevated heart rate and subsequently arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker and taken into police custody,” the statement said.

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The incident has caused much concern within the local Hindu community, many of whom had gathered at the mandir, commonly referred to as the Wembley Shiva Temple and a registered charity, for their weekend prayers.

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