Posted at: 10/22/2012 11:25 PM
| Updated at: 10/23/2012 12:21 AM
By: Dan Bazile
SCHENECTADY -- Groceries, mostly flour, were scattered everywhere. Rice, ketchup and soda littered the basement at the Schenectady Hindu Temple on Sixth Avenue and Pleasant Street.
"I'm very sad that some one who do this should realize this is a place of worship," said temple president Ravi Ishmael.
It's a place of worship where parishioners came to pray, despite the destruction. Temple leaders say they discovered the mess Monday morning.
"When we came here this morning we saw a broken window and broken glass," Ishmael said.
They were stunned when they took a peak in the basement. The vandals also left a sexually explicit message and dumped ketchup on some sensitive audio equipment. They didn't leave empty handed. One of the temple's audio mixers disappeared. The damage and missing equipment are estimated at thousands of dollars. Police were at the scene trying to figure out what happened. Ishmael said police don't have to look very far.
"President Ravi and I feel that this is an inside job. But we don't know who it is," said Jai Prakash, a youth counselor at the temple.
This is the third time the Hindu temple has been hit in the past six months. Prakash said the building is in foreclosure with the city and that has prevented parishioners from investing in security.
"We have not been able to secure this building properly. And a lot of residents in our community are very scared," Prakash said.
They hope to resolve the foreclosure issue soon through talks with the mayor of Schenectady so that they can secure the building and deter future vandals.