Tension prevailed in Amritsar after two groups of the Namdhari sect clashed during a function organised in the memory of late Satguru Jagjit Singh, former head of the sect, on Monday.
Two followers -- Ranjit Singh and Parshottam Singh -- of one group were injured in the clash, during which stone-pelting and firing in the air were reported.
The clash took place between the group of Thakur Uday Singh, the head of the sect, and allegedly the followers of the rival faction of Thakur Dalip Singh. The function was organised on the premises of historical 'Shaheedi Bohr' (martyrs' banyan tree where four Namdharis were hanged by the British in 1871.)
It is being seen as fallout of the controversy that erupted after the appointment of Thakur Uday Singh as head of the sect, which has its headquarters at Bhaini Sahib.
The function in the memory of late Satguru Jagjit Singh was organised by the followers of sect head Thakur Uday Singh where hundreds of people were present.
Talking to mediapersons, one Sarabjit Singh alleged, “We were holding a function in a peaceful manner when more than 100 people, allegedly from the group of Thakur Dalip Singh, entered the premises and tried to disrupt the proceedings.” In no time, stone were pelted from outside and shots were fired in the air, he claimed.
Jasbir Singh, who alleged that he was manhandled, said, “Supporters of Thakur Dalip Singh came to the function and beat up people sitting there. I was manhandled and one Ranjit Singh received an injury near the eyebrow.”
He added that, “Thakur Uday Singh is the head of the Namdhari sect now. Thakur Dalip Singh and his followers are against him and are repeatedly causing disruptions.”
Sect head Uday Singh and Mata Chand Kaur, wife of late Satguru Jagjit Singh, were also present at the function when it all started. Since tension prevailed in the area, police parties led by Amritsar police commissioner Ram Singh and deputy commissioner of police Kaustabh Sharma rushed the spot.
The police cordoned off the entire area and deployed their personnel in various areas to ensure that there is no repeat of the incident.
Talking to mediapersons, the police commissioner said, “We had deployed two DSPs and armed guards near the venue to ensure that the function is not disrupted. We will start a probe into the clash.”
Asked about the groups involved in the clash, the police commissioner said, “I am yet to know about the groups involved as our priority is to handle the law and order issue. We are taking statements from those present at the function.”
Talking to HT, civil lines SHO inspector Sanjeev Thakur said, “On the complaint of Ranjit Singh, we have registered a case against Baba Shinda, Sukhdev Singh, Harpal Singh, Sulakhan Singh and 25 unidentified people. A case has been registered under Section 307 of the IPC.”
Sources claimed a couple of people from the other group were also injured and police were looking for them to record their statements.