UK: Suspect appears in court in connection with Derby Gurdwara attack

DERBY, UK—A man has appeared at court in connection with an alleged stabbing and what police are calling a ‘burglary’ at the Guru Arjan Dev Ji Gurdwara, Derby, UK. 

Mohammed Ibrar (31), of Cromwell Road, Derby, has been charged with wounding with intent and burglary. He appeared before Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court this morning (Thursday 28 May) and was remanded into prison custody.

Derbyshire Constabulary police officers were called just before 8.40am on Monday 25th May to reports that the Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara in Stanhope Street had been broken into.

The police force’s Chief Superintendent David Cox said: “I know this is a very upsetting incident not only because this is a place of worship but because the alleged actions of the individual involved have a wider impact across the Sikh community.

“I met with members of the community yesterday and had a number of productive conversations about issues and concerns. 

“It is clear that there is some concern that this incident may be linked to terrorism. I would like to make it clear that this is a live and ongoing investigation, which limits what I am able to say, but there is nothing at this stage to suggest that this is the case. We will, however, be pursuing a thorough investigation to glean a greater understanding of the circumstances around the motives that led to any alleged offences.

“We will remain in close liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service and we will keep them appraised of any new evidence, which should come to light as the investigation continues.

“I would, again, like to thank those members of the community who assisted the police on Monday.

“This incident is being treated as a hate crime. Throughout the last few days we have been in continued dialogue with the Sikh community, and local officers will be more visible in the area to make sure both those associated with the Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara and the wider community feel safe.”

Another call to the police came in minutes after the call from the Gurdwara to say that a man had been stabbed inside the Polanica shop, in Normanton Road, Normanton.

On arrival, officers found a 41-year-old man with injuries. The man was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre for treatment and was later discharged.

Due to ongoing court proceedings police are limited on what further they can say at this stage.

The Sikh community in Derby are calling for the incident to be declared a terrorist incident. In a statement by the Derby Gurdwaras’ Council issued on Tuesday 26 May said, when describing the incident: “Representatives of Derby Gurdwaras’ Council implore the Police to take note of our feelings on this matter, act to prevent any future occurrence, and provide reassurance to the local communities by: i. Treating the incident as an act of terror against a peaceful Place of Worship; ii. Pursuing actions against the perpetrator under the Terrorism Act.”

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