Brisbane Sikh Gurudwara Politics: A bloody brawl erupts in Brisbane with Swords & Knives.
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
News published by NRI Herald Australia, 15 September 2021
In a recent shocking incident among Sikh Community members in Brisbane, eight men ended up in hospital after the fight on Daw Road in Runcorn about 10.30pm (13 September 2021) monday night. One man is likely to lose a hand after he was allegedly sliced with a Sword in the fight, involving around 40 men.
So far NRI Herald have the following information:
1. In Runcorn brawl 40 men attacked each other at 10:30 PM in the night. Among which 8-10 men were carrying Swords & Knives which injured many including one person seriously injured and his hand might be chopped off.
2. Some of the injured are being treated at Prince Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane.
As per NRI Herald's sources and further investigation into this incident the two groups had disputes over the management of Gurudwara. Allegedly, they were under this dispute over the "Presidency" of the Brisbane Gurudwara Management Committee. Both the parties decided to meet in a lonely cricket ground at 9pm on Monday night to settle it with fight but ended up brutalising each other.
As reported by News channel ‘Indoz TV’, translated in English,
“it’s a shame that the Politics of Gurudwara Sahib has created a divide amongst the peace-loving Punjabi community. Gurudwara is place of worship where all the members of family visit to offer prayers and stay connected to their culture. As a community, we should think long and hard to resolve these issues before it’s too late”.
Reporter of 'Indoz TV' further said, Translated in English:
We also take our kids to Gurudwara so that they can learn our culture. Our community has learned so much but we still lack discussions. We should look into such matter collectively as a community otherwise the lives of innocents will keep on losing due to such mendacious politics.
As per news published by ABC, Simon Tayler from Queensland Police called the scene "confronting" and said officers had to give first aid as they arrived. He said bodycam footage showed "it was quite hectic". Police said a group of men tried to drive away from the scene in a Nissan X-Trail, but were intercepted by the Dog Squad.
Blood can be seen on the street in the following photo after the fight involving 40 men (Discretion Advised)
Queensland Police said in a statement.
"Seven men, aged between 22 and 38, were taken into custody. An eighth man was tracked, located and arrested in Cactus Street," "All men have since been released as investigations continue
Entire Sikh community is in shock:
Management committee of the Brisbane Gurdwara has released the following statement after this disgraceful incident, which says:
"The committee on behalf of sangat, strongly condemns the behaviour of these individuals who have brought disrepute to our whole community"
This is a Second incident pertaining to Sikh Gurudwaras issues in Brisbane. Last week NRI Herald reported another incident where Gurudwara at Gold Coast was sold for $5.6 million by one of founder. This incident of Daw Rd, Runcorn is a double whammy for already disconsolate Sikh community members who have lost their place of worship by few powerful honchos.
For centuries, Gurdwara Sahibs (literally - Gateway to the Guru) have been sanctuaries of divine peace and tranquillity for Sikhs & Hindus. Yet such embarrassing events occurring at Gurdwara Sahibs in Australia impetus the entire Indian community to think, if these places are still the place for selfless services OR focal points and hubs for political and financial turf wars.
Violence inside Gurudwaras over minor disputes is not new to Sikh community.
There have been multiple events in past where Sikhs tried to settle scores by taking out Swords & Kirpans instead of choosing the peaceful legal precedents. One such incident of 2014 was widely reported in Indian media including the BBC. Incident video shown below:
These incidents were mainly restricted in India but now could be seen recurrently within Australia as well.
In one of the other such incident which took place in May 2021 where a Sikh School student stabbed the fellow classmate with 'Kirpan', also reported by many Australia news portals. In one such news report by The Daily telegraph , in which the premier of NSW said:
“Well, I was quite taken aback to learn that students can take knives to school. Students should not be allowed to take knives to school under any circumstances and I think it doesn’t pass the common sense test,”
After the above 'Kirpan' incident NSW government banned the Kirpans in schools momentarily just to reinstate it after few months. Many Sikhs defended the right to carry ceremonial dagger to schools. As per one of the report by Sydney Morning Herald published on 17 May 2021, Australian Sikh Association chairman Ravinderjit Singh over banning the 'Kirpan' in NSW schools said:
“I think it is a knee-jerk response,” he said. “We do not wear the kirpan as a weapon.
Many would say that the reinstatement to carry religious knives in schools by NSW education department could be under community or political pressure but the wider question still remains. Is Australia really safe? Should Kirpans & Swords be really allowed in Public?
Isn't this appeasement?
This event of Brisbane Brawl has again raised many questions over such long pending issues.