Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sikh Violence at the Golden Temple, Amritsar, India

Thirty years ago, in 1984 the Sikh Golden Temple at Amritsar was raided by the Indian military to flush out Sikh separatists of the Khalistan movement that was led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. The then prime minister Indira Gandhi called in the operation in which many Sikhs got killed resisting the raid.

Last Friday rival groups of Sikhs clashed at the shrine. Ceremonial swords and staffs were swung in anger, resulting in injuries and panic.

The violence broke out after a group of "radical Sikh activists" wanted to brandish their swords and chant slogans calling for a separate Sikh homeland, or Khalistan, according to the Times of India. The newspaper says at least 12 people were injured. Video from the shrine shows tightly packed groups of agitated men wearing orange, yellow or blue turbans, yelling and arguing in the shrine complex as sword fights broke out. As the sound of clanging metal rang out, attendees rushed to get out of the way of the blows. In one sequence that recalled a scene from an old movie, men swung swords at one another as they fought their way up and down a staircase.

You can view the clash at the temple site by clicking here.

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