Trinidad Temple Vandalized: Maha Sabha Seeks Justice

A temple in Curepe, Trinidad and Tobago was vandalized, resulting in the destruction of six murtis (idols). The incident is part of a growing trend of religious site vandalism in the country, with several other sites targeted in recent months.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Trinidad Temple Vandalized: Maha Sabha Seeks Justice

Trinidad Temple Vandalized: Maha Sabha Seeks Justice

The Bharatiya Vidya Abhyas Mandali temple in Watts Street, Curepe, Trinidad and Tobago was vandalized on May 8, resulting in the destruction of six murtis (idols). The incident occurred during the early morning hours, with the perpetrator hopping the temple walls, which are secured by barbed wire. The vandalized temple is a significant religious site, with a murti of Lord Shiva that had been on the temple grounds for 32 years also being destroyed.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the growing concern of religious intolerance and vandalism in Trinidad and Tobago, which can lead to a breakdown in social cohesion and community trust. The lack of action from law enforcement can embolden perpetrators and create a sense of impunity, potentially leading to further incidents.

The incident was discovered by devotees arriving for morning worship and cleaning duties around 4 and 5:30 am. There are no CCTV cameras on the premises, with plans to install cameras in June. The temple's treasurer, Zolika Ramdehal, described the destruction as "losing something sacred."

The president of the Inter-Religious Organisation, Pundit Lloyd Sirjoo, strongly condemned the attack, calling it "heinous" and urging police to be proactive in their work. "Criminals will think it is okay to do this because nothing will happen to them," Sirjoo said. A board member of the vandalized temple noted, "People have been coming forward to donate new murtis, it's a beautiful thing to witness, in the midst of the devastation, this love."

This incident is not an isolated one, with several other religious sites in Trinidad and Tobago being vandalized or broken into in recent months. These include the Tabernacle of Prayer Church, Williamsville Hindu Temple, Lakrani Ganesh Mandir, Kali Maa Temple, Pranavananda Ashram, St Francis Shrine Church of All Saints, and Munroe Road Hindu Temple.

The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha is seeking justice for the desecration of the Bharatiya Vidya Abhyas Mandali temple, with president Pundit Krishna Rambally accusing law enforcement of inaction. In a media release, the organization stated, "This is not the unholy work of a vagrant or a band of vagrants." Pundit Lloyd Sirjoo is urging the public not to label these acts as hate crimes without proper facts and calling for police to be proactive in their work to prevent similar incidents.

Key Takeaways

  • The Bharatiya Vidya Abhyas Mandali temple in Trinidad and Tobago was vandalized, destroying 6 murtis (idols).
  • The incident highlights growing concerns of religious intolerance and vandalism in the country.
  • No CCTV cameras were present, but plans are in place to install them in June.
  • Several other religious sites in Trinidad and Tobago have been vandalized or broken into in recent months.
  • Religious leaders are calling for justice and urging police to be proactive in preventing similar incidents.