Sword-wielding mob attacks cops at gurdwara in Maharashtra’s Nanded; 17 held, 400 booked

A mob of sword-carrying protesters broke through barricades at a gurdwara in Maharashtra’s Nanded and attacked cops after they were denied permission to hold a religious procession. At least 17 have been held and hundreds booked for violence and violation of Covid safety rules.

At least 17 persons were held and 400 booked after a mob of sword-wielding Sikhs attacked policemen, injuring at least four of them, in Maharashtra’s Nanded on Monday.

Policemen were allegedly attacked after permission was denied to hold a public procession in Nanded due to the coronavirus pandemic, an official said.

“Seventeen persons have been detained by Nanded police in connection with the assault on policemen& vandalism outside Nanded Gurdwara yesterday [Monday]. Police registered FIR under charges of rioting & attempt to murder against several unknown persons,” police officials told ANI.

What happened in Nanded?

A viral video showed a sword-wielding mob barging out of the Nanded gurdwara, breaking the barricades put up by police and attacking the policemen.

Several vehicles were also damaged in the violence.

“Permission for the Hola Mohalla public procession was not granted due to the pandemic. The gurdwara committee was informed and they had assured us that they would abide by our directives and hold the event inside the gurdwara premises,” Nanded Range DIG Nisar Tamboli told PTI.

“However, when the Nishan Sahib was brought at the gate around 4 pm, several participants started arguing and over 300 youth stormed out of the gate, broke the barricades and began attacking the policeman,” he said.

Tamboli said the condition of one of the four constables was serious.

He said six vehicles of police were damaged by the mob.

Nishan Sahib is a triangular saffron-coloured flag furling outside a gurdwara on a steel pole covered with a saffron-coloured cloth. The flag also has an insignia called Khanda in the middle, which includes two swords and a chakra.

Hundreds Booked

The officer said on Monday an FIR will be registered under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 324 (voluntary causing hurt with dangerous weapons), 188 (Disobeying the order of public servant), 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and for rioting.

“Those involved in violence will be arrested,” he added.

What is Hola Mohalla?

Hola Mohalla (Hola) is a Sikh festival that comes a day after Holi. Unlike Holi, when people sprinkle the coloured powder on each other, Hola Mohalla is an occasion for Sikhs to demonstrate their martial skills.

Nanded is an important Sikh pilgrimage centre as it is home to a sacred shrine, the Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchal Nagar Sahib.

It was here that the 10th and last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708), anointed the holy book Guru Granth Sahib as the eternal Guru of Sikhism and spent the last 14 months of his life.

Source: India Today


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