A 26-year-old man, charged with the attempted murder of Namdhari sect head Thakur Udai Singh, has appeared in court in Leicester.
Harjit Singh Toor, also charged with making threats in a public place with a 'gandasa' (farming tool), spoke only to confirm his name at a three-minute preliminary hearing at the Leicester crown court on Tuesday.
Judge Michael Pert adjourned the case for a plea and a case management hearing to be held on December 3.
Toor is accused of assault at Gurdwara Namdhari Temple on Linden Street, Spinney Hill, in the East Midlands region of England on August 11.
He was caught by members of the congregation present for Sunday prayers at the gurdwara. Toor is a non-Namdhari Sikh from Oadby area.
Toor had wrapped himself up in a blanket as he moved towards the sect chief with a 'gandasa' and aimed for his head.
The victim was able to deflect the attack and suffered injuries to his face and arm. Udai Singh was taken to the royal infirmary in Leicester and discharged following stitches to his nose and treatment of a broken wrist.
"He (Toor) may have been instigated by someone known to the sect," said Ranjit Singh, general secretary of the gurdwara.
Thakur Udai Singh took over as the Namdhari leader in December last year after the death of Satguru Jagjit Singh. His selection was opposed by people within the sect, including Udai Singh's elder brother Dalip Singh.
There is speculation that the attacker may have a link with the controversy surrounding the choice of the sect head.
Udai Singh travelled to the UK from India to convene a Namdhari darbar and has since returned to Bhaini Sahib (Ludhiana district), the headquarters of the Namdhari sect.