Thieves again raid Hindu temple in Trinidad

Port-of-Spain, April 16 (Inditop) Thieves have again broken into a Hindu temple in Trinidad and Tobago. This is one in a series of raids which have affected the Hindu places of worship in this Caribbean nation over the years.

Police reported that scores of devotees returned to the Mon Plasir Road Hindu Temple on Monday to find it ransacked and over $10,000 in electronic items taken away. The stolen items included a computer, a television set and sound amplification equipment.

Krishna Murity, 39, public relations officer of the temple, said that about 70 devotees had gone to a religious camp during the Easter weekend in Sangre Grande, some 40 km away.

He said that neither the temple nor any of the statues inside had been desecrated. The statues included those of Ram and Sita, Shiva and Parvati and Durga.

Murity said that following a tipoff from neighbours, some of the items were found hidden in a bush adjoining a river. Only the television set and computer were retrieved. Police continue to work on the matter.

In recent years, several Hindu temples and places of worship have been desecrated.

In August 2006, the world-famous Temple by The Sea, Waterloo, Central Trinidad, was ransacked and statues of Shiva, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Durga, among others were damaged beyond recognition, but so far police have not been able to charge any one. However, through corporate sponsorships and individuals, the statues were restored and consecrated again.

Since the arrival of East Indians from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar between 1845 and 1917, Hinduism has become one of the major religions in Trinidad and Tobago. It is also prominent in Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica and other countries.

Over 300,000 Hindus represent some 24 percent of the 1.3 million population in Trinidad and Tobago.