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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Namdhari leader denies sexual abuse charges

IANS  London, February 12, 2014
First Published: 16:30 IST(12/2/2014) | Last Updated: 10:13 IST(13/2/2014)

Namdhari sect leader Uday Singh has denied the claims of sexual abuse level against him and termed them as "totally absurd".

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The sexual abuse allegations were levelled in a Birmingham court on Monday, by a Sikh man who had attacked Uday Singh in Britain last year. Uday Singh said he had never even visited the village in Punjab where his attacker alleged that he was sexually assaulted as a child, media reported.  Uday was on a visit to the UK when he was assaulted with an axe at Gurdwara Namdhari in Leicester by 27-year-old Harjit Singh Toor on August 10, 2013.

Prosecutor Gordon Aspden alleged that the pre-dawn attack in the packed temple was motivated by religious hatred. But Toor, of Oadby, Leicestershire, claimed at the Birmingham Crown Court that he was sexually abused by Uday Singh in 1994 and 1995 before the latter was elevated to his now holy status in India.  When the spiritual leader was asked by the prosecutor if there was a word of truth in the allegations, he said: "Absolutely none; it's totally absurd."

"I have never met him (Toor) as far as my memory goes," the BBC quoted Uday Singh as saying.  "I have not met him and there is no question of any events happening. I have never visited that particular village at all," he said.

"When he walked in, he was walking slowly. When he came close, he removed his shawl and suddenly came out with the axe," the Leicester Mercury quoted the victim as saying.  Uday Singh said the attacker swung the axe targeting his head as he came on the platform.  "My sudden reaction was to lift my right arm and move slightly backwards," he added.  "I had a lot of pain in my arm, it was excruciating."  Earlier, the court saw the CCTV footage, showing worshippers wrestling the defendant to the ground and kicking him.

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