Brandishing swords and other traditional weapons, politico-religious groups on Sunday clashed inside the Golden Temple complex in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, creating panic among devotees.
Radical supporters of Akali leader Simranjit Singh Mann virtually took over the stage of a religious event organised inside the complex to mark the 400th anniversary of Akal Takht -- the highest religious seat of Sikh religion.
The clash took place in the presence of the holy book of the Sikhs -- Guru Granth Sahib.
The Akal Takht is located just 50 metres from the Sikh sanctum sanctorum -- the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
The clash took place when the group led by former chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal did not allow Mann to speak from the dais.
This upset Mann's supporters who violently rushed to the stage, brandishing swords and other weapons, and forced Badal, Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar and other top Sikh leaders to run for cover. Mann's supporters broke the microphone also and manhandled Sikh leaders.
Following the incident, Akal Takht head priest JS Vedanti issued a religious proclamation holding Mann and his followers responsible for the unsavoury incident and directed all Sikhs not to invite Mann and others to any religious events.