Burglars cook corned beef in Carapo Hindu temple

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

An opened tin of corned beed left behind by burglars at the Carapo Shiv Mandir. Photo courtesy Hansraj Ramdhanie

Burglars ransacked and desecrated a Hindu temple in Carapo, cooking corned beef in one of the pots used to make parsad, a traditional sweet made for religious ceremonies.

Members of the Carapo Shiv Mandir said they found their place of worship vandalised on Friday evening and again on Saturday morning.

Vice president Hansraj Ramdhanie said members went to the temple on Friday around 7 pm to prepare for its Mother’s Day celebrations scheduled for Saturday but instead found the place in shambles.

He said thankfully their murtis were not destroyed but jewellery on the murtis, gas tanks, ring stoves and other items were stolen, while the temple’s pantry, lighting fixtures, plumbing system and doors were destroyed.

A ransacked section of the kitchen at the Carapo Shiv Mandir. -Photo by Hansraj Ramdhanie

Ramdhanie said the burglars cooked beef in one of the pots used to make parsad.

“We noticed that the door was broken down. When we went into the kitchen and dining area, we found the fridges open and everything in the storeroom scattered.

“We found opened cans of corned beef and bread. Beef overall is prohibited in the Hindu religion, it’s a disrespect to the faith.”

Ramdhanie said the police were called and the matter was being investigated.

The disconnected water pump at the Carapo Shiv Mandir. – Photo courtesy Hansraj Ramdhanie

He said when they returned on Saturday morning to clean up, they again found more destruction and theft.

“The police came and did take the necessary fingerprints… the assailant came back and stole the microwave, took five gas tanks and a water kettle.

“They disconnected the water pump but left it behind, so we removed that from the compound. The air conditioning units were tampered with.”

The ransacked panty at the Carapo Shiv Mandir. Photo courtesy

Ramdhanie said because of the incident the planned Mother’s Day celebration had been cancelled and the temple will remain closed until further notice.

He said while the damage was estimated to be roughly $10,000, it would cost about $60, 000 to install additional protection.

“We are just picking up the pieces now and moving forward. We are very disturbed and believe it could be a hate crime.”

The temple, Ramdhanie said, has a capacity of between 100 –150 people who came from Carapo, Arima and environs.