A clash between two rival factions of the Namdhari sect at a gurdwara in Sector 30 left at least 10 people injured on Sunday morning. The police, which took some people into preventive custody, said none of the injured was serious.
No case was registered.
A similar clash had broken out in Amritsar in late February. A succession row had broken out in the cash-rich Namdhari sect after the death of its chief Jagjit Singh in December 2012. His nephews Thakur Uday Singh and Thakur Dalip Singh staked claim to the headship, and the matter has remained unresolved, according to sources.
On Sunday morning, 150 to 200 members of the sect had come to attend the weekly prayer ceremony at the gurdwara. The clash broke out allegedly over the naming of the sect head in the prayer.
Some of the injured said that they were videotaping the ceremony when members of the rival group arrived from “outside the city” and started snatching their mobile phones and thrashing them.
“Even the women were dragged by their hair and the children were beaten up. The assailants used metal rods and other objects to beat us,” said Sukhchain Singh, who was admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32.
Malkeet Singh, another member of the sect, said, “In our Sunday prayer, the name of Dalip Singh is used. The other faction has been threatening us to use Uday Singh’s name instead.”
After the incident, a heavy police force was deployed at the gurdwara. Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu visited the spot.
“Six persons of one group and four of the other were injured. Most of those involved in the attack were from the Tricity. They have been taken into preventive custody under sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC. We’ll give a report to the SDM after conducting medical examination of the victims,” said DSP (East) Anjitha Chepyala.