Many people were hurt and cars torched during a violent riot at a temple in Malaysia – here’s what happened

A video posted on Facebook depicting a torched vehicle.
Facebook / Jeya Sakti Durga

A violent riot at a Hindu temple in a suburb of Petaling Jaya left at least 12 people injured and 23 vehicles razed on Monday (Nov 26), local media has reported.

According to The Straits Times, around 50 Malay men, allegedly armed with axes and knives, reportedly entered the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple to attack those inside. According to The Star, around 200 Indian men rushed to the temple when several Indian caretakers realised the intrusion and contacted their friends.

On Monday, it was reported that least a dozen people were injured in the 2am attack.

Among the injured was a rescuer from the Subang Jaya Emergency Response System. According to NST, Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, 24, was still in critical condition as of Tuesday morning.

Subang Jaya district police said in a Facebook post that the fight between the two groups was sparked by a disagreement over the relocation of the century-old temple.

A live video of the chaotic scene – posted on Facebook page Vetri Online – is now making the rounds on social media, and has so far garnered nearly a million views.

Photos and videos of the riot were also posted on Facebook by bystanders at the scene.

The video below shows the vehicles burning.

According to ST, One City Development had reached a court settlement in March 2014 with temple representatives to relocate the temple in Subang Jaya to another location 3.5km away.

A temple devotee reportedly told ST that the group of armed men charged into the premise on Monday, and told the temple’s caretakers to leave the temple.

“They said the land is owned by One City,” temple committee member Yuvaraj Nagaraju was quoted by the Singapore daily as saying.

But the developer of One City has denied being involved, saying that the accusations were based on “malicious lies”.

Police at one point deployed more than 700 riot policemen to the site.

In a Facebook post published on Tuesday, the Royal Malaysia Police revealed that temple protesters marched to One City’s building and smashed its windows to pieces. The post includes photos of armoured operatives and smashed windows.

A report by the New Straits Times said that a total of 21 arrests had been made as of 1.26pm on Tuesday – and all of those arrested are local men.

Selangor police chief Datuk Mazlan Mansor was quoted as saying that a machete was found in a vehicle in which two of the suspects were travelling.

The incident at One City Mall is also being investigated.