Local newspaper Express and Star gave a further insight into the incident that occurred at Gurdwara Guru Nanak on Sedgley Road, Blakenhall, Wolverhampton.
The incident occurred while the selection process of the new committee was being held. Two people were hurt in the incident and reportedly one was taken to the hospital.
Witnesses say troubled erupted inside the darbar hall after names of the new 25 committee members were being announced. An estimated 1,000 people were inside the darbar hall while names were being announced.
Members of a rival faction shouted inside the darbar hall in protest of the new committee. A similar incident occurred the prior week of the rival group protesting against the committee.
According to eyewitness, the youth prevented beadbi from taking place inside the Darbar Hall.
This video shows the disturbance starting to occur in the Darbar Hall.
A representative of Sarbloh Gym of Wolverhampton gave the following statement:
“The youth did their duty in preserving the sanctity of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s Darbar. We feel for two consecutive weeks members of Sikh Forum Wolverhampton attended GNSG sedgley St with the sole intent of creating disturbance and trouble. There is a need for the sangat and particularly the youth to take up an active role and volunteer their time for the improvement of the Gurdwara’s functions. We feel active involvement will improve governance, transparency, and overall operations of the Gurdwara Sahib. Our goal should be Sikhi and Seva and not money and politics.”
Eyewitness gave statements on the clash to Express and Star:
One witness claimed: “Objections to the make-up of the committee could have been made in writing but these people chose to act like hooligans. They represented a small minority of the congregation and it was quickly apparent that the support they had anticipated was not there.
“The trouble then transferred to an office downstairs where some of those who had been protesting in the prayer room tried to force their way in. Everything then went haywire.
“There was a fight, one man drew a knife and the vice president of the temple was assaulted. He had his turban forcibly removed which is an act of great disrespect.
“A large number of police officers were on the scene very quickly. It was as if they had been warned there might be trouble and were prepared to take action.”
There is believed to have been simmering unrest among some of the congregation since the previous Sunday when five people were chosen to selected the controlling committee, as is the normal custom.
One critic said: “The problem stems from the fact that power is in the hands of too few people and others with different views do not get a look in.”
Joanne Hunt from West Midlands Police confirmed: “Officers responded to reports of disorder at a Wolverhampton temple after a large crowd had gathered to mark the announcement of a new committee.
“Officers arrived to find a large group of people gathered at the temple. Two people were reported as having been injured during a small disorder inside a room of the temple. One of the men received hospital treatment to a facial injury. An investigation has been launched and local officers urge anyone with information to contact them by dialling 101.” -Express and Star