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Four killed in clashes between rival Sikh factions in India

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Four killed in clashes between rival Sikh factions in India

Text of report by Indian news agency PTI

Patiala, 21 September: Four persons were killed as rival groups of Nihangs, a Sikh sect, clashed trading gunfire and using swords at a religious place here on Friday [21 September] evening, official sources said.

The clash broke at the Dera (religious place) out when supporters of Baba Santa Singh, who heads a Nihang faction and undertakes Kar Sewa (voluntary service) at various shrines, stopped the rival group led by his nephew from entering the complex belonging to Santa Singh.

The Baba has named one Balbir Singh as his successor in place of his nephew Udai Singh, which had upset the Nihangs faction led by him.

Those killed in the clash were identified as Balbir Singh's father Asa Singh, his two brothers Bhajan Singh and Jagdish Singh and nephew Karam Singh. The injured identified as Darshan Singh was admitted in a local hospital in a serious condition.

Police said Udai Singh and his supporters came to the place in the evening saying they wanted to meet Baba Santa Singh but were stopped by the supporters of Balbir Singh.

Superintendent of Police (City) Mandeep Singh Sidhu told reporters at the spot that the suspects have been identified and police parties have been sent to various places to nab the culprits.

Source: PTI news agency, New Delhi, in English 1735gmt 21 Sep 07

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