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1 Destro  Sun, Aug 5, 2012 10:49:46am

This is the incident I recalled and it may (emphasis on may) be what is going on here:

A bloody melee among worshipers at a Sikh temple in Queens over the weekend was only the most public and violent episode in a roiling power struggle marked by frequent confrontations, death threats and a lawsuit, members of New York’s Sikh community said on Tuesday. ...

As alarming as the fight was, however, it was not unusual. Armed violence has plagued other temples, known as gurdwaras, around the world in recent years. Suketu Mehta, a journalism professor at New York University and the author of “Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found,” said violence had “become endemic to many Sikh gurdwaras.”

“The community really needs to come to grips with the issue of temple management, and learn to fight out their disputes in the courts instead of in the house of God,” he said.

The Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Sikh Center, in fact, was born out of conflict. It was founded by a splinter group in 1998, amid a power struggle marked by fights at another Sikh gurdwara in Richmond Hill.

The brawl on Sunday began shortly after 11 a.m. Witnesses said Jarnail Singh and several dozen allies were praying in the gurdwara; outside, more than 100 members of the opposing faction gathered on the sidewalk, fearful of entering because they had heard rumors that those inside had stockpiled weapons.

Eventually the crowd, assured by the presence of police officers who had been sent there, began to surge into the center, witnesses said.

Jarnail Singh said he saw several of them carrying bats, sticks and knives.

The building erupted in shouting and invective. A shaky video taken from inside the center and posted on YouTube showed what happened next: Worshipers, their heads covered in turbans or orange head scarves, leapt up from the floor where they had been sitting cross-legged, grabbed sword-shaped metal ceremonial percussion instruments called chimtas and turned on the arriving group. The video captured people waving the chimtas and at least one person swinging a microphone stand.

Witnesses said combatants also used baseball and cricket bats; some people were taken to the hospital for treatment of wounds. Paramjit Singh, one of the founding members, said he hoped the matter would be settled by the center’s board of directors. But others said they did not expect the center to move so quickly beyond the violence.

Gurmej Singh, who was scheduled to assume the presidency this year, said he had received three anonymous telephone calls warning him that he would be killed if he tried to take the post.

“There are possibilities,” Mohinder Singh said, “that this fight will be repeated next Sunday.”

2 Destro  Sun, Aug 5, 2012 5:55:22pm

re: #1 Destro

I wrote on another thread that if this was not inter-Sikh violence it was probably some stupid racist guy targeting Sikhs because they look like Muslims - the turban thing - even though Muslims don't wear turbans.

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