Source: Paras Ramoutar, Hinduism Today
CHAGUANAS, TRINIDAD, June 6, 2001: The Divali Nagar Site, Chaguanas, Central Trinidad, was hit by arson on June 5. Cost of the damage in estimated at over US$80,000.00. Divali Nagar is an annual festival hosted to mark Divali. Officials visiting the site shook their heads in dismay when the extent of the damage was revealed. "There are some fundamentalists out there who could do something like this," said one official. "An act of pure malice," is how one official of the National Council for Indian Culture, (NCIC) described a fire. A half full keg of gasoline and a pair of rubber gloves remained on the compound up to Wednesday at the feet of a 20-foot statue of Swami Vivekananda which was also nearly burnt down. No one has been held yet in connection with the fire. Among the items destroyed were more than a dozen paintings of Hindu scriptures created especially for the NCIC by Indian artist Satyanarayan Mourya. Religious items were the main target leaving some members of the NCIC to believe the fire was an expression of religious intolerance by someone who was familiar with the layout of the building. Paintings have been described as priceless because of their sentimental value.