A violent sword fight broke out between two rival Sikh groups at India’s Golden Temple in Punjab today.
According to local reports, up to 12 people were injured in the fighting that took place at the holiest shrine in the Sikh religion.
Video footage shows dozens of Sikh men fighting and chasing each other with swords on the steps outside the shrine.
Video footage from Indian television showing violent clashes between SIkhs at the Golden Temple. Video via Youtube/Zee News
The fighting was over who would be allowed to speak at a ceremony marking the anniversary of a military operation that killed hundreds of people in 1984.
Operation Blue Star, as it was codenamed, was an army raid ordered by India’s then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that attempted to drive out Sikh separatists in the Golden Temple. The notorious operation killed 400 people, according to the Indian government, with Sikhs saying the figures were much higher.
Gandhi was later assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation for Operation Blue Star. This in turn sparked days of massive anti-Sikh riots that killed as many as 3,000 people.
“Today we were supposed to have a solemn remembrance for the martyrs of 1984, so what has happened is very sad,” said Prem Singh Chandumajra, a spokesman for the Sikh party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
“The temple has once again been dishonored today,” Chandumajra added.
Indian security forces were brought in to break up the fighting and later reported that the situation was under control.
Even a bodyguard can kill his leader if his values and principles are in conflict with his job duties. This happened on 31 October 1984 when 2 Sikh bodyguards killed Indira Gandhi, the third and only woman Prime Minister of India.
Indira Gandhi was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India. She married Feroze Gandhi, who was not related to Mahatma Gandhi.
The day before her death Indira Gandhi visited Orissa on 30 October 1984 where she gave her last speech:
“I am alive today, I may not be there tomorrow. I shall continue to serve till my last breath and when I die every drop of my blood will strengthen India and keep a united India alive.’
On 31 October 1984, two of Gandhi’s bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, shot her with their service weapons in the garden of the Prime Minister’s residence at New Delhi. She sustained 30 bullet wounds and died 5 hour later.
BTW, SAD is definitely not a good name for an association.