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Sikh priest in Birmingham targetted

Three cars of JS Bhogal were set on fire on Monday after he conducted a marriage of a Sikh woman to a man of another religion.

india Updated: Jun 19, 2007 14:32 IST

A Sikh priest in Birmingham has come under attack for allegedly conducting an inter-religious marriage.

Three cars parked outside the Handsworth Wood home of Jarnail Singh Bhogal, president of the Ramgharia Sikh gurudwara in Hockley, were set on fire Monday.

"I woke up and there was a big bang and an orange light or flash. I opened the curtains and saw my three cars on fire so I asked the kids and my wife to get out and go in the garden and called the fire brigade," Bhogal said.

According to information posted on an online Sikh forum, the marriage between a Sikh woman and a man of another religion conducted by Bhogal was a disgraceful act, Birmingham Post reported.

It also demanded the priest's resignation and warned local gurudwara leaders of dire consequences if they allow mixed marriages.

However, gurudwara authorities said that the man involved in the marriage had converted to Sikhism before the ceremony.

"The girl was a Sikh and the boy voluntarily changed his name to a Sikh name and promised to adopt the values of Sikhism," a gurudwara spokesperson said.

Confirming the incident, a police spokesperson said: "An incident occurred where three vehicles were damaged. We can't confirm the reason behind it."

First Published: Jun 19, 2007 14:23 IST