LEEDS: Arson attacks on two places of worship in Leeds are being treated as associated hate crimes by police. The Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque in Hardy Street, Beeston, was attacked, along with the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in Lady Pit Lane.
According to a BBC report, West York shire Police were called to the mosque at about 03:45 BST where the main door had been set alight.The front door of the gurdwara was set on fire at about the same time, but was put out before it spread. Det Insp Richard Holmes said: “We are treating both these incidents as linked given the closeness of the locations and the similar times that they have occurred.
“While our investigation is still at a relatively early stage, we do believe these premises have been specifically targeted as places of worship and we are treating both incidents as arsons and hate crimes. “We are currently carrying out extensive enquiries, including checks on CCTV in both areas, and we would like to hear from anyone who has witnessed any suspicious activity or seen any person or vehicles in the areas around the time these incidents have occurred.”
Police said patrols had been increased in the area. Anyone with information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting crime reference 1318270739 or call the independent charity Crimes to ppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Nadeem Murtuja, interim director of Just Yorkshire which promotes racial justice, human rights and equality, said such “acts of hate” were worrying. “Mosques, gurdwaras and other places of worship repeatedly open doors to people of faith, no faith and all diversities to improve understanding, yet despite these positive actions, hate crimes continue to rise and the police continue to provide support and assurance,” he said.