Photo: Paras Ramoutar
Port-of-Spain: The Hare Krishna Temple, headquarters of the ISCKON, located in Longdenville, Central Trinidad, is the latest in a series of attacks and break-ins in Trinidad within the last two weeks.
Devotees were awaken by the noise and the knocking of murtis only to discover that bandits had broken into the Temple and ran away in a waiting car with an undisclosed amount of cash, jewellery and other items. The devotees who reside on the compound were terrorized and robbed, much to the dismay of police and the devotees.
Police said that masked men armed with guns and cutlasses entered the temple around 2 a.m. on Monday and made with the donation box containing cash and other valuables.
Last week, at the Kailash Parvat Sharna Gatie Ashram in Las Lomas No 2, bandits ransacked the pantry and escaped with vegetables, gas tanks, pots and wares. Pundit Param Maraj, spiritual leader, has seriously condemned the acts of violence and has appealed to the culprits to return the stolen items.
Last month, the spiritual leader of the Lakshman Narayan Hindu Temple, Pundit Gajinder Kumar, and his family of Sewdass Road, Freeport, were tied and robbed and the culprits escaped with $25,000(US) worth of cash and jewellery. Pundit Kumar said, “It is unfortunate that the temples and other places of worship are being targeted.”
"Our country has never seen this kind of behaviour before and it tells us that something is not right. People have to return to their temples, churches and mosques. We have to pray for those who are involved in these criminal acts. They need spiritual and humanitarian help," saidPundit Kumar, who is originally from Uttar Pradesh, India, and has been practicing and teaching Hinduism here for over 30 years.
Over the recent years, several Hindu temples were vandalized and robbed, and the murtis were damaged, and so far no one has ever been arrested and charged for the crimes.
Out of a population of 1.4 million, 25 per cent are devout Hindus, and there are more than 300 temples scattered across the country.