The 43-year-old Mayur Karlekar and his wife Ritu and two young children were asleep in their home late when they were woken up by their neighbors, who had called in the fire brigade to tackle a huge blaze outside their home in south-east London’s Borkwood Park area of Orpington.
According to Metropolitan Police spokesperson, “The Metropolitan Police is investigating this as a hate crime. It is being dealt with as a case of arson and criminal damage. No arrests have been made so far”.
“We all were sleeping and were luckily woken up by neighbours on time. Though most of the damage was done to the hedges leaving the house now exposed, my son’s bedroom was just saved – he was sleeping in it at the time of the incident,” said Karlekar. “We are glad it was stopped on time but the damage to our neighbourhood, our society, to our home has been done, irrecoverably. We have not caused any trouble to anyone and have only helped others in all our lifetime. I was special police myself doing voluntary unpaid work. This act happening to us was a complete shock”. The CCTV footage of the area later showed four youths, dressed in hoodies, setting fire on the hedges outside the Karlekars' home. Two cars and parts of the house were damaged by the fire.