Five injured as Namdhari groups clash
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, February 25
The controversy over the appointment of Thakur Uday Singh as the head of the Namdhari sect after the demise of Satguru Jagjit Singh in December last year took an ugly turn when followers of Thakur Dalip Singh, a nephew of the deceased Satguru, entered into a brawl with supporters of Thakur Uday Singh at the historic Namdhari Shaheedi Smarak here today. In the clash, five persons were reportedly injured.
Supporters of Thakur Dalip Singh, carrying placards, tried to approach Mata Chand Kaur and Thakur Uday Singh, who were seated on the dais, but were stopped. This resulted in a clash. Thakur Uday Singh's followers alleged that the rival group also fired into the air.
Jasbir Singh of Ludhiana said Baba Chhinda and Baba Sukhdev Singh, followers of Thakur Dalip Singh, hurled abuses at him and beat him up. He alleged that the group also fired into the air during the programme. Another witness Suba Harbhajan Singh alleged that the policemen, instead of intervening, fled the scene as certain persons indulged in stone-pelting.
A follower of Thakur Dalip Singh, who did not want to be identified, said after attending a function at Muhawa village, a delegation of 500 followers led by Baba Chhinda came here to meet Mata Chand Kaur but were stopped by Thakur Uday Singh's followers. This led to an altercation that took an ugly turn. The clash occurred despite the heavy police deployment headed by two senior officers.
The Civil Lines police has registered a case for attempt to murder (Section 307), defiling a place of worship (Section 295 ) and hurting the sentiments of a community on the statement of Ranjit Singh, district president of the sect who was injured in the clash. Amrik Singh Pawar, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (City-II), said among those booked were Baba Chhinda, Sukhdev Singh, Harpal Singh and Sukhwant Singh.
After the death of Namdhari sect head Satguru Jagjit Singh on December 13 last year, his nephew Thakur Uday Singh was appointed as his successor on December 16. The International Namdhari Sangat, however, wanted his elder brother, Thakur Dalip Singh, appointed as the next Satguru.