Hindu temple in Auckland targeted with arson attack

"We also have a priest's quarters where the family of the priest were present - it's attached to the same building, and people could have died."

This incident occurred at Shri Ram Mandir on Brick St in Auckland’s Henderson area almost three weeks ago on the night of October 21.

The CCTV footage of the temple shows two masked intruders entering and setting the floor alight with fuel.

The spokesperson of Shri Ram Mandir Pravin Kumar told 1News that the two offenders entered the temple’s dining room through the back entrance before setting the alarm off and running away.

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He said that after the alarm turned off, they re-entered the temple with a bag of tools and poured some kind of fuel onto the floor before setting it alight.

The alleged arsonists before the attack.
The alleged arsonists before the attack. (Source: Pravin Kumar) to 1News

The fire quickly spread across the community centre section of the temple but luckily it was dowsed by the Temple’s sprinklers and controlled.

He said that members of the community were shocked by the fire and scared that it might happen again.

“Obviously, people are quite scared; people are worried.”

Kumar also said the blaze could’ve been fatal.

“It could have been disastrous because, on the premises, we also have a priest’s quarters where the family of the priest were present – it’s attached to the same building, and people could have died.”

Police and fire crews shortly arrived at the scene to put out the rest of the fire and investigate what happened.

The police have deemed the fire “suspicious”, and Kumar said he has no clue why anyone would want to target the temple.

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“We are a community centre and a place of faith, and we work with a lot of communities who do inter-faith work,” he said.

“I have no clue who would want to do this, maybe someone who hates us doing good things.”

Police are currently investigating the cause of the fire.

“At this stage, our inquiries remain ongoing, and no arrests have been made,”

a police spokesperson said.

Both police and Shri Ram Mandir are calling for anyone with information about the fire to come forward.