6 hurt as Nihang groups clash

Amritsar, Punjab: Six persons were injured in a clash between two Nihang groups soon after the culmination of Fateh Divas organised to mark Bandi Chhor Divas celebrations at the Railway B-block ground today.

Members of a group led by Sher Singh Sodhi of Amar Shaheed Baba Jeevan Singh Dera (belonging to Panthic Dashmesh Tarna Dal) — located in the Saleem Tabri area of Ludhiana — allegedly opened fire at those of a rival group headed by Major Singh. The injured, all of whom belonged to the Major Singh group, sustained splinters injuries. They included three Nihangs — Amrik Singh and Balkar Singh, both residents of Ludhiana, and Gurwinder Singh (14) of Kot Khalsa — besides Harbhajan Singh of Chheharta, Beer Singh of Barnala, and Gurbachan Singh. Beer Singh’s condition was stated to be serious.

The groups had yesterday assembled at the Golden Temple where the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) honours the heads of groups to mark the Bandi Chhor Divas. As part of the Fateh Divas celebrations today, horse riding competitions were organised at Railway B-Block in the Islamabad area.

The two groups clashed over a minor issue soon after the competitions. The police said a dispute over the headship of Amar Shaheed Baba Jeevan Singh Dera was stated to be the reason behind the clash.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (City-I) Parampal Singh said after the death of dera head Balkar Singh a few months ago, his wife designated Major Singh as the head of the dera. But this was opposed to by Sher Singh who claimed Balkar Singh had made him the head of the sect, he said.

Sher Singh along with Preetam Singh and his supporters allegedly opened fire at Major Singh’s group, he said. The statements of the victims were being recorded and a case would be registered thereafter, he added.

Source: The Tribune

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