Anger after restaurant vandalism

The smashed door at the India on the Green restaurant
The smashed door at the India on the Green restaurant

The owner of an award-winning Ballater restaurant has condemned a vandal attack.

A 140-year-old stained glass door at India on the Green was smashed in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Owner Raj Hamid has condemned the vandalism

Owner Raj Hamid has condemned the vandalism

Police are investigating and have appealed for any witnesses to the incident.

Furious owner Raj Abdul Hamid said the door was an important part of local heritage and was priceless.

There was no other damage to the premises in the village’s Victoria Road and nothing was taken.

Raj told the Piper he had left the restaurant for his home in Stonehaven about 1am.

Around 3.30am a member of staff living above the eatery heard a noise and when he went to investigate trod on broken glass.

Raj said: “The door of the restaurant had been smashed.

“It’s 140-years-old, of stained glass and from the original building. It’s priceless.

“We think it may have been someone who was drunk. Nothing was taken from the restaurant.”

Police were called in and are investigating the incident.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Our inquiries are continuing.

“We would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or who may have information, to contact us on 101.”

Local councillor Geva Blackett also condemned the attack.

She said: “Vandalism is pointless and stupid.

“Whoever committed this crime should be ashamed of themselves because they not only let India On The Green down, but they also let the whole community down and themselves.”

Raj said it was the latest blow to the restaurant.

It was closed for more than nine months following the Storm Frank flooding at the beginning of 2016.

Trade during the winter months was slow and they were looking forward to it picking up during the summer season.

Raj, who has owned India on the Green since 2013, added: “It is so sad.

“This is not something you expect to see in Ballater.

“The stained glass door was such an important part of local heritage and tourists were very interested in it.”

He is in contact with a company specialising in stained glass to see what can be done as a replacement.

In 2014, the restaurant won the Best Newcomer category at the Asian Food Awards, and the same year, Raj was a finalist in the All Scotland Chef competition.

It was the first Indian restaurant nominated for the Highlands and Islands Food and Drinks Awards Restaurant of the Year,

Earlier this year, he won Chef of the Year at Aberdeen’s Best Curry Awards and also at the Scottish Curry Awards.