TWO GROUPS of Sikhs clashed at the Sikh Centre Gurudwara Frankfurt (Germany) on Sunday over a programme by Panth Preet Singh, a preacher from Punjab. Police had to intervene to protect the preacher when he was reciting his Katha (story of Sikh preaching) at the gurdwara.
The two groups included members of the Sikh Centre Gurudwara management and several Taxali (traditional thinking) leaders living in Germany and nearby European countries. Local leaders in Punjab said it was not the first time that Panth Preet faced opposition to his programme. The same thing had happened in Italy, too.
Panth Preet is considered anti-panthic by the Taxali leaders, who said he has been distorting the original preaching of the Sikh panth and they always wanted to have a debate with him to which Panth Preet never agreed, said a Sikh leader here.
At least three videos of this fight were released on social media in which a large number of Sikhs gathered outside the gurdwara raising slogans and scuffling with each other. In another video, Frankfurt police were seen inside the gurdwara taking Panth Preet away to safety. And then, he recited the Katha on the first floor of the gurdwara where a large number of Sikh devotees were present.
A Sikh leader and president of a gurdwara in a German city, on condition of anonymity, said while the management of the gurdwara wanted to organise the programme of Panth Preet, Taxalis opposed it. “The Taxali leaders had even called police to stop the programme, but the latter did not intervene as it was a religious matter,” said the leader, adding that when the gurdwara management refused to stop the programme, the Taxali leaders sent their supporters inside who created chaos.
And, another large group of Taxali leaders tried to beat up the others outside the gurdwara, said the leader, adding that some of them were rounded up by police.
Panth Preet is considered to be a preacher of modernity, just like Dhadrianwale, said Sikh leaders here, adding that Taxali leaders never like these modern preachers.