Power struggle led to violent attack in Queens area Sikh templeApril 27th, 2011 - 1:33 pm ICT by ANI
New York, Apr 27 (ANI): A power struggle marked by frequent confrontations, death threats and a lawsuit, had led to the most public and violent episode among worshipers at a Sikh temple in New York’s Queens area over the weekend.
At least seven persons were injured during a violent clash at the temple, the Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Sikh Center, on Sunday.
Eight people have been arrested on riot and assault charges, the New York Times reports.
According to reports, the origin of the Sikh temple was a result of a conflict. It was founded by a splinter group in 1998, amid a power struggle marked by fights at another Sikh gurdwara in Richmond Hill.
Mohinder Singh, the organization’s first president, said that the founders had agreed to take turns serving as president in two-year terms, and in 2007, the leadership decided to shorten the terms to one year. The organisation ran smoothly for about three years.
“It was the most efficient religious organization. It had a history of very peaceful governance,” Gurpal Singh, the executive director of Seva, an organization that works with immigrants in Richmond Hill, said.
With nearly the end of the presidential term in December 2010, the sitting president and others filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Queens against other members of the center.
The suit sought to change the center’s governing structure and allow more worshipers a role in electing officers, and Justice Augustus C. Agate issued a temporary restraining order to keep executive officers in power while the case was reviewed.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s incident took place, where worshippers disrupted a prayer session by attacking their rivals with swords and cricket bats. (ANI)
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