Armed with swords, Sikhs guard British gurdwaras (Lead)

August 10th, 2011 - 7:32 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 10 (IANS) More than 700 Sikhs armed with swords and hockey sticks have been guarding their gurdwaras in Britain amid unending unrest, media reports said Wednesday.

The Sikh men - some in their 80s - took to the streets to protect their homes, businesses and places of worship in Southall area of West London, the Daily Mail reported.

Each Sikh temple in Southall was guarded by around 200 men.

The Sun reported that more than 100 Sikh men came out to the streets with sticks and metal bars in West Bromwich town to save a gurdwara from rioters.

“We are working alongside the police, they’re doing what they can but they are stretched,” Amarjit Singh Klair, from nearby Hounslow, was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

“Why shouldn’t we defend our homes, businesses and places of worship? This is our area. There’s lots of talk about it kicking off here. But we’re ready for them,” he said.

The daily said the community “were running a military style operation” to protect themselves after around 100 rioters tried to attack the area Tuesday.

Elderly worshippers at the largest Sikh temple in London’s Havelock Road telephoned young men for help.

Groups of Sikh men stood guard at different parts of the area, keeping in touch via mobile phones.

A 20-year-old man said: “They caught us off guard last night but we still managed to get people together to protect the area. We saw them putting on their balaclavas preparing to jump out of three cars but we charged at them and managed to chase them off.”

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