Punjab: Policeman Killed, 5 Others Injured After Nihang Sikhs Open Fire In Kapurthala; Visuals Surface

Punjab: Policeman Killed, 5 Others Injured After Nihang Sikhs Open Fire In Kapurthala; Visuals Surface

Senior officials have rushed to the site and police personnel in large numbers have been deployed in the area, they said.

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Thursday, November 23, 2023, 08:25 PM IST
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A group of 'Nihangs' opened fire at Police in Punjab's Kapurthala district | ANI

Chandigarh: A Punjab police constable was killed and five others were hurt after Nihang Sikhs opened fire on the police team deployed outside a gurdwara in Sultanpur Lodhi town of Kapurthala district Thursday morning.

The police deployment outside the gurdwara was in the wake of an ongoing dispute between two groups of Nihangs over the control of that gurdwara – Gurdwara Akal Bunga, which is located opposite historical Gurdwara Ber Sahib.

According to information available, the clash took place some of the Nihangs who had positioned themselves on the top of the tree and other places inside the gurdwara, opened fire discriminately on the police personnel - deployed there to check ongoing tension between the two groups of Nihangs - killing constable Jaspal Singh on the spot. Five other policemen were also hurt and rushed to the hospital.

According to information, at least 60 rounds were fired from Nihangs and police between around 5 am and 6.30 am. Police said that they had arrested five accused and recovered three weapons by the afternoon.

Ongoing dispute led to the incident

According to information, there is said to be an ongoing dispute over gurdwara’s control between the Baba Budha Dal, led by Nihang Balbir Singh and another group led by Nihang Maan Singh, for the past several years. The former had his two representatives (sewadars) Nirwair Singh and Jagjit Singh deputed here.

However, on November 21, a group of Nihangs belonging to Dal’s splinter group led by Nihang Maan Singh forced their way into the gurdwara and held the two sewadars captive. The police had registered a case in the context against the members of the group of Nihang Maan Singh – who now controlled the gurdwara – and deployed some police personnel outside the gurdwara.

The tension escalated Thursday morning after police tried to pacify the situation and get the gurdwara vacated and the Nihang Maan Singh group started firing indiscriminately at the police personnel.

The two groups had also clashed in 2020 in which a Nihang was also killed.

Pertinently, Nihang Sikhs are the martial order within Sikhism, distinctive for their traditional attire and martial practices. Members of this Sikh sect dress up as medieval warriors owing allegiance to Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru.

Rs 2 crore compensation for deceased's family

Meanwhile, the martyr Jaspal Singh, who hailed from Mainala village of Kapurthala was cremated with full police honours. The police said that while chief minister Bhagwant Mann had announced a Rs 2 crore grant for his family, it was also decided to give one of his sons in the police department and get his other son a suitable job.

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