Hindu temple in US State of California raided by burglars

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New York: A Hindu temple in the US State of California has been raided by burglars who stole a donation box from the premises, leaving the Indian community in a state of shock.

The incident took place on Monday at the Hari Om Radha Krishna Mandir in the Parkway neighbourhood, at about 2:15 a.m., the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported.

The Sacramento Police Department is investigating the burglary at the Hindu Temple.

Police did not disclose what was stolen, but dispatch audio indicated a donation collection box was taken.

Dispatchers told people that six suspects were seen on the grounds through surveillance video, including two who were inside the temple, when police were called, the report added.

Police said no arrests have been made, but the incident remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, condemning the incident, the US-based advocacy organisation Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) has asked the Sacramento Police to take this issue very seriously and investigate it as a potential hate crime.

"Disturbing news from Sacramento, California where a #HinduTemple has been broken into. We ask @SacPolice to take this issue very seriously and investigate it as a potential hate crime and the violation of a sacred space. Police are asking for public help in identifying the suspects," they posted on X.

Guru Maharaj and his wife were at home when they received an alert.

"The first thing I saw was the curtains blowing and I said, 'Oh, my God. Somebody is in the building,' " Maharaj's wife was quoted as saying by the CBS news.

As footage from the temple showed, someone tried to break through three doors and a car.

"They went right through to the donation box in darkness," Maharaj said.

The footage shows the thieves lifting the box up and carrying it out behind the building. They hoisted the box, which reportedly weighed close to 100 pounds, over the fence then shoved it in a getaway car and took off.

"It's a very big hit to our community and we're here to help people out," Maharaj said.