Sikh24 presents news about a conflict over the management of the Sikh house of worship in El Sobrante, California (officially called the Sikh Center of San Francisco Bay Area) that turned into a physical altercation and required police intervention:
One individual was hurt during the altercation, he later told the police that Darshan Singh had allegedly cut him on the forehead with his small kirpan. The victim had a two inch gash and was bleeding. This is a gross violation of Sikh tenets and beliefs regarding proper use and respect of the Kirpan.
The Contra Costa County Sheriff and ambulances came after the injured victim dialed 911. Darshan Singh was arrested but according to reports, he was later released on bail.
The Sheriff deputies came into the main hall briefly with their shoes on and made an announcement that everyone should “put your shoes on and go home.”
The Sheriff deputies said that public safety came first over religious belief. They effectively shut down the Gurdwara, even those eating langar, had to walk out with their plates in their hands.
No one can fault the police for taking the actions necessary to maintain a peace that was already violated by the Sikhs of that Gurdwara. Whatever the reasons and allegations behind the dispute, the sacrilegious acts described are extremely disappointing and shameful — and, plague our Gurdwaras all too often.