Supporters of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management (adhoc) Committee Wednesday claimed to have taken over two gurdwaras in Haryana. One of the gurdwaras is in Cheeka, Kaithal district (one of the eight prominent gurdwaras in Haryana under SGPC control) and the other is near Mustafabad in Yamunanagar.
Their attempt to take over a third shrine — Chhatthi Paatshahi Gurdwara in Kurukshetra — was foiled by police, leading to a fierce clash. Nearly a dozen policemen, 20 protesters and some mediapersons were severely injured during the two-hour violence.
The clash began around 1.30 pm, when one of the speakers at the gathering outside the gurdwara announced on the public address system that HSGMC had finally taken over the gurdwara in Cheeka. Hearing this, the crowd comprising HSGMC supporters began marching towards Chhatthi Paatshahi Gurdwara and crossed the first cordon.
They were stopped by the police at the second cordon, resulting in heavy stone pelting. “We had no option but to use force. Had the HSGMC supporters entered the gurdwara, the situation would have been devastating. Since the SGPC task force members are armed and camping inside the gurdwara, it would have resulted in a major clash,” said Rajbir Deswal, IGP, Karnal range.
In the melee, dozens of vehicles parked nearby were damaged. HSGMC supporters alleged that the vehicles were smashed by police personnel who attacked them. The injured were rushed to Kurukshetra civil hospital.
According to the police, the situation was tense but under control. HSGMC leaders claimed that a large number of people who had come from Punjab started pelting stones, triggering the clash. “A group of 300-400 people from Punjab reached the spot where we had been peacefully protesting.” Didar Singh Nalvi, HSGMC vice-president, told The Indian Express.