Arson Bid Leads to State of Fear: The Week That Was October 25-31, 2001.

(AP Photo/Max Nash)
(AP Photo/Max Nash)
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HINDUS said they were living in a state of fear of their lives after fireworks were pushed through a letterbox in an arson attempt on a Bradford community centre this week in 2001.

Members of the Yorkshire branch of the World Council of Hindus expressed their concerns after the incident at their Horton Grange meeting rooms. Yorkshire branch secretary Joniah Parthasarathi said it was only a matter of time before the building was destroyed. He blamed religious hatred for a string of attacks over two years.

“There have been incidents like this for a long time, and it will carry on until the police start doing something about it.”

In the latest attempt police removed three large fireworks that had caused damage to carpets and other soft furnishings. West Yorkshire Police said they were satisfied they were policing the area adequately.

Never one to avoid controversy, the Duke of Edinburgh stepped into the row over school trips when he said that learning about risk was a necessary part of children’s development. He added that it
 was “highly damaging” to deny children challenging physical activity.

His comments were criticised by teachers’ leaders, as well as a Yorkshire mother whose daughter had died on a trip to France.

Three girls had died in the summer on school expeditions, and teachers said they now felt such excursions were becoming too difficult because of the danger of ending up in court.

Sharon Carter, from Leeds, mother of 13-year-old Gemma, who drowned while paddling in northern France, said the Duke didn’t know what he was talking about. “These sorts of activities are fine if qualified people are involved, but a lot of schools do not want to pay to bring these kind of people along.”

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters/Association of Women Teachers, which had now advised members not to take part in school trips, said: “It’s all very well for him to say that – he’s not going to be sued.”

More than £350m was still needed to protect Yorkshire from flooding, said the Environment Agency almost a year after devastating floods swept through vast swathes of the region.

The Agency said that, although millions had already been spent on improved flood defences, it was nowhere near enough to prevent a repeat of the misery caused to thousands of homes.

The Yorkshire Post reported that dozens of people trapped at the top of the New York’s World Trade Centre could possibly have been airlifted to safety if doors had not been locked.

More than 1,000 people were unable to leave the floors above the section of the buildings where the two hijacked planes smashed into the towers, and in one of the buildings police rescue helicopters could have landed on the roof.

However, the doors to the roof were kept locked because a similar rescue in 1993, when a bomber tried to destroy the towers, had been criticised as a ‘publicity stunt’ staged by fire bosses and the Port Authority, which owned the towers.

Meanwhile, evidence was mounting that terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was behind the anthrax attacks which had claimed the lives of three postal service workers operating in a mailroom used by the White House

Investigators had uncovered two leads that pointed firmly toward bin Laden’s al-Qaida network. Six more postal workers who had handled anthrax-laced letters were now in hospital.