Arson suspected at Vancouver Khalsa school

One of the three Khalsa schools in Vancouver burnt to the ground yesterday. Arson is suspected. The fire started in vannews.jpgthe main building and two portable classroom buildings simultaneously, and spread rapidly. The Elementary School had been broken into as well. When the school secretary called 911 to report the break-in, she saw smoke coming from one of the schools. The 911 operator told her to get out of the building and that firetrucks were on their way. [Globe and Mail]

Firefighters brought the fire under control in 90 minutes, but of the 9 buildings that made up the Khalsa school, only one remains. They were able to save the Guru Granth Sahib Ji from the fire, making a touching scene when they carried it out to the sangat.

Members of the Vancouver sangat have recognized that if the arson was motivated by hatred, then work remains to be done in educating and sensitizing the community to Sikhs.

A news release issued by members of the Sikh community raised the question of whether the fire was arson motivated by hatred. If the authorities confirm that this crime was motivated by hatred, it should serve as a wakeup call to all British Columbians that much more work needs to be done to increase cultural understanding and to combat the existence of hate groups, the news release said. [Globe and Mail]

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