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Vaisakhi Stabbings


Niranjana
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Gur Fateh!

Does anyone know further about these events in B’ham?

SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 13

LENGTH: 108 words

HEADLINE: Stabbed man 'leader'

BODY:

THE man stabbed three times in the chest at Birmingham's Vaisakhi festival is reported to be a leading member of the Sikh community.

Ravinder Singh Powar, aged 44, is a former president of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick.

Last week three men were remanded in custody after appearing in court charged with Mr Powar's attempted murder on Sunday April 22.

Amandeep Singh, 31, of Aldridge, Walsall, Avtar Singh Thandi, 28, from Harborne and a 17-year-old from Smethwick are all also accused of violent disorder.

The three men will appear again before Birmingham Crown Court this Thursday.

Mr Powar's condition in hospital has been described as "stable."

HEADLINE: Revealed: Knife victim of Sikh festival terror;

EXCLUSIVE FIGHT FOR LIFE AFTER VAISAKHI STABBING

BYLINE: CARL MORRIS

BODY:

THIS is the Midland man left fighting for life after a religious festival ended in violence.

Ravinder Singh Powar, 44, was stabbed three times in the chest at Birmingham's Handsworth Park during the Vaisakhi event, attended by 75,000 people as part of Sikh new year celebrations.

Other sporadic outbursts of violence broke out during last weekend's festivities in which six further people suffered significant injuries, including head wounds and cuts.

Nine ambulances, four paramedics, a rapid response doctor were needed to deal with the aftermath of the violence.

Mr Powar is the former president of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick, one of the oldest and most popular Sikh temples in the UK.

He later became the vice president but was removed from office earlier this year after temple committee members passed a vote of no confidence. His controversial removal angered his supporters and community sources said this had led to a tense stand-off between the two factions.

During his tenure as vice president, Mr Powar had publicly criticised the more militant section of the Sikh congregation whose leaders have been calling for the creation of an independent Sikh homeland in India, called Khalistan.

A former pro-Khalistani himself, Mr Powar claimed politics had no part to play at a Sikh temple and he surrounded himself with moderates.

But he was eventually voted out when his detractors accused him of allowing drunkards to enter the temple - a serious violation of Sikh teachings.

A temple source said: "There was a lot of accusations and counteraccusations but Ravinder was finally booted out.

"People took sides and there had been a tense atmosphere at the temple for quite a while as the two factions jostled for power."

Last week, three men were remanded in custody after appearing in court, accused of the attempted murder of Mr Powar.

Amandeep Singh, 31, of Aldridge, Walsall; Avtar Singh Thandi, 28, from Harborne, Birmingham; and a 17-year-old, from Smethwick, are also accused of violent disorder.

The three accused are due to appear before the Birmingham Crown Court again on May 3.

A 66-year-old man from Coventry has been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Mr Powar was last night still in hospital where his condition was described as 'stable.'

Staffordshire Edition

SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 4

LENGTH: 232 words

HEADLINE: Vaisakhi festival cancelled

BODY:

A MAJOR festival to celebrate the Sikh New Year in Wolverhampton has been called off.

The Vaisakhi festival should have taken place in West Park this weekend, but the Council of Sikh Gurdwaras in the city decided it would not go ahead.

They said they feared a repeat of the violence which marred last Sunday's Vaisakhi festival in Birmingham's Handsworth Park.

Three men have been remanded in custody after appearing in court accused of the attempted murder of a man who was stabbed at last Sunday's event.

Amandeep Singh, 31, of Bella Pais, Aldridge, Walsall, Avtar Singh Thandi, 28, of Hamilton Avenue, Harborne, Birmingham, and a 17-year-old youth, from Smethwick, are also accused of violent disorder.

The three defendants are due to appear before Birmingham Crown Court on May 3.

A 44-year-old man was stabbed three times at the event and remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

About 75,000 people attended the festival and up to 150 men were involved in the disorder, police said.

Gurdial Singh Dhaliwal, a member of the Council of Sikh Gurdwaras in Wolverhampton, said today the council had decided unanimously to call off the celebration.

"Everyone in the Sikh community around here is very saddened about what happened in Birmingham last week.

"People are upset that such an important festival was marred and it has been decided we don't want to risk anything similar happening."

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niranjani you start this hread with the heading khalistanis and gurdwara politiocs but in your post you make it look like the khalistanis were responsible for this violence, cos of pawars anti khalistan stance.

pawar had many comittee members beaten up and intimidated by shere punjab during the time he was in the committee. have you ever thought of starting a thread on this? where do you think the young hot heads get there ideas from ? from the elders who show them this is the way, and you amongst others have criticised the r4g group, when pawar and his people aint no different. like i stated earlier the chickens have come home to roost.

chatanga

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catanga made the following observations, comments, questions and accusations:

(1) "you make it look like the khalistanis were responsible for this violence"

Response: If you have a look at the post again, you will note that it is an article written by one CARL MORRIS who is a reporter for the staffordshire press...so this is hardly me making "it look like the khalistanis were responsible for this violence", moreover the fact that I have asked for an update should clearly spell out that I wish to know more about the situation...

(2) "pawar had many comittee members beaten up and intimidated by shere punjab during the time he was in the committee. have you ever thought of starting a thread on this?"

Response: As stated above, I have started this thread with the hope of getting an update and further information. Now you have brought this to our attention, please could you elucidate, as it would be good to hear all sides as an outsider to the situation.

(3) "you amongst others have criticised the r4g group, when pawar and his people aint no different"

Response: Whilst the R4G campaign has worked wonders in terms of raising an issue, the comments and analysis provided elsewhere by tsingh pretty much sum up my concerns with their tactics in certain scenarios. You seem to be implying that somehow I am supportive or am a sympathiser for this Pawar chap - well rest assured, I do not know him or the other party as I'm not a local, so as I said above already, I'm looking for further information - clearly, you someone in the know, so please bring out the facts.

Thanks.

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the facts are what i satated in my previous post. all pawaras vocal opponnents in the gurdwara committee were either beaten up or intimidated by shere punjab on pawars behest. some of them even resigned from the comitte. for almost 6 years this has been going on.

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OK, let's flesh this out a little more:

1. Gurdwara name.

2. Pawar's political stance (article indicates he has swung from pro to anti khalistani?)

3. Shere Punjab - this group was notorious during the 1980s, however I would interested to know who is a member of this gang today? The same chaps or is it a case of more "20 year old adults" back in the picture?

4. What has been done over the past 6 years about these supposed attacks by the Shere Punjab and Pawars involvement? Surely the Police should have been involved?

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