- Crowds with swords attack cops in Maharastra at a Gurudwara
- 4 people were left injured in the incident
- Gurudwara administration was informed the procession wouldn’t be allowed due to virus curbs
At a Gurudwara in Nanded, Maharashtra, a mob of sword-carrying Sikh protesters broke through the barricades last evening and even attacked police personnel, leaving four injured, after the police refused to allow a religious procession because of the guidelines imposed in the state owing to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.
A case was also registered over the violence and also the violation of Maharashtra’s COVID-19 safety rules, said the Police.
As many as 18 people have been detained.
In a video which has been widely shared over the social media platforms, a large group of people who could be seen armed with swords rush out of a gate of the Gurdwara complex, breaking through barricades put up by the police and attacking policemen standing guard.
According to a police officer, four personnel were injured and police cars were damaged.
Pramod Kumar Shewale, Superintendent of Police )SP) said that the gurudwara was already informed that the “Hola Mohalla” procession would not be allowed because of the restrictions imposed owing to a surge in COVID-19 virus infection cases.
Shewale said, “We had spoken to the gurdwara authorities and the priests and explained the situation to them. So they agreed that this year, no procession will be held and a low-key celebration will be held within the complex”.
The low-key event was to begin at 4:00 PM, however, “some of the youngsters got impatient. When Baba-ji explained the situation to them, they moved to the Gate number 1 and started moving on the traditional route of the procession,” Shewale added.
The “Hola Mohalla” procession traditionally includes a display of Sikh martial skills.
Despite the ban imposed on gatherings in Maharashtra, the locals planned to go ahead with the procession. The police had put up barricades near the gurdwara.
The trouble, reportedly, started when the Nishan Sahib, or the Sikh religious flag, was brought to a Gurdwara gate and participants in the event started arguing. A large group then stormed out of the gate.
In India, Maharashtra is witnessing the worst surge of the Coronavirus cases over the last week and the Maha-government has announced a series of restrictions contain the infection.
On Sunday, the Maharashtra government announced the fresh restrictions on large gatherings in the state as its part of the measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus. Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, reportedly asked officials to make preparations for a lockdown as people were not following Covid protocols.
In the last 24 hours, Maharashtra has reported 31,643 fresh COVID-19 cases and 102 deaths in the last 24 hours. Though the figure was below the previous day’s 40,414 infections – the state’s highest-ever spike, It is likely that the dip reflects the fewer tests that are held on a Sunday.