On Sept. 11, 2016, 55 armed men entered the Leamington Spa Sikh temple in the United Kingdom to halt an interfaith marriage service, according to police.
The police said that the intruders entered the Gurdwara Sahib at 6:45 a.m BST, in Leamington Spa. The marriage they were attempting to thwart was to occur between a non-Sikh and Sikh, said Jatinder Sing Birdi.
Even though the group, calling themselves Sikh 2 Inspire, claim to be peaceful, they staged an eight-hour long armed protest. The authorities also seized many of the weapons, said Superintendent David Gardner. In addition to that, they inferred the protest arose from a rise in local contentions. Officers still remain at the temple. And nobody was injured in Leamington Spa.
Additionally, BBC News inferred the protest arose from an increase in local contentions. Officers still remain at the temple. Reports indicate that nobody was injured in Leamington Spa.
Sikh 2 Inspire complained that the protesters were misunderstood. Also that the police did not know enough about the Sikh community in order to have a balanced view.
Birdi commented that there had been tensions in Leamington Spa for a few years. However, this was the first time events reached this pitch. He stated that despite the tension, most people respect mixed marriages.
The ceremony is called Anand Karaj. According to the Sikh Council, it should only be for those who practice the faith. In spite of that, the Council called for the protests to stop last year.
Leamington Spa has experienced this before. Shoals of men have attempted entry at the Gurdwara. That has happened about three or four times in the past few months.
Written by Osveen Funwi
Edited by Cathy Milne
BBC: Leamington Spa Sikh temple protest: Fifty-five arrested
Image Courtesy of Lydia’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License