The Warwickshire police said on Sunday that “several arrests” were made following a standoff provoked by a group of 30 armed men entering the Gurdwara Sahib Leamington Spa and Warwick, ostensibly to prevent an interfaith marriage.
“A number of arrests made on suspicion of aggravated trespass following incident at Gurdwara Leamington Temple”, the police said, after reporting that armed officers had cordoned off the gurdwara to deal with the group that was carrying swords.
The gurdwara, located 95 miles northwest of London, is reputed to be among the largest outside India.
Local reports suggested that mixed marriages had generated tensions in the Sikh community. The Sunday incident was said to be linked to another interfaith marriage in the gurdwara.
The Warwickshire police said the incident was not being treated as a terrorist incident.
It said: “Officers are responding to an ongoing incident at the Gurdwara Temple on Tachbrook Drive, Leamington Spa...This is currently being treated as aggravated trespass and at this time we believe that it is an escalation of an ongoing local dispute”.
“We believe that some of the men are in possession of bladed items and as such armed officers have been deployed to the scene. Officers are inside the Temple to negotiate a peaceful resolution. We would like to reassure people that this is not being treated as a terrorist incident”.
“There are also religious leaders in the Temple working with officers to negotiate a peaceful resolution. There are police cordons in place around the Temple and we would ask that people avoid the immediate area while the incident is resolved”.