Dozens ar­rested over Sikh mixed mar­riage protest

The Myanmar Times - - World -

BRI­TISH po­lice ar­rested 55 peo­ple and seized blades at a Sikh tem­ple, fol­low­ing a protest against a mixed mar­riage.

Armed of­fi­cers were de­ployed to the Gur­d­wara Tem­ple in Leam­ing­ton Spa, cen­tral Eng­land, early on Septem­ber 11 af­ter a group of men en­tered the build­ing.

A to­tal of 55 peo­ple were ar­rested for ag­gra­vated tres­pass in what po­lice chief David Gard­ner de­scribed as “an es­ca­la­tion of a lo­cal dis­pute”.

“A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of bladed weapons were seized from the scene,” he said, adding that no one was in­jured in the in­ci­dent.

Gurmel Singh, sec­re­tary gen­eral of Sikh Coun­cil UK, said pro­test­ers walked freely into the tem­ple and did not break into the build­ing. He said the group then held prayers and a sit-in to op­pose a wed­ding due to take place be­tween a Sikh and a non-Sikh.

“Mar­riage is a sa­cred in­sti­tu­tion and in our cul­ture we have no prob­lem with peo­ple of dif­fer­ent races get­ting mar­ried, but the re­li­gious doc­trine says this par­tic­u­lar cer­e­mony is re­served for two Sikhs,” Mr Singh told AFP.

The Sikh 2 Inspire group said those ar­rested were car­ry­ing the kir­pan,a cer­e­mo­nial Sikh dag­ger, and crit­i­cised the re­sponse to the Gur­d­wara Tem­ple in­ci­dent.

“The me­dia and po­lice have vic­timised the Sikh ap­pear­ance and de­famed the Sikh com­mu­nity in the United King­dom,” the group said on Face­book, call­ing on their sup­port­ers to take their kir­pan to their lo­cal po­lice sta­tion and ex­plain its sig­nif­i­cance to of­fi­cers. –

Photo: AFP

US Democratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton par­tic­i­pates in a me­mo­rial ser­vice at the Na­tional 9/11 Me­mo­rial in New York on Septem­ber 11. Ms Clin­ton left the ser­vice early as she was not feel­ing well.

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