Director arrested after violence at Yuba City, CA, Gurdwara

After last weekend’s violence at a Gurdwara in Yuba City, California, Sutter County Police have arrested a director of the Gurdwara who is accused of stabbing another individual during the brawl:

Mangal Singh Sanghera of Yuba City was booked into the Sutter County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Sanghera is being held without bail on a probation violation, Sheriff J. Paul Parker said in a press release.

“The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected in coming days,” Capt. Lewis McElfresh said.

Sanghera, 43, is accused of stabbing 46-year-old Balbir Bains in the stomach on Sunday, authorities said. McElfresh said Bains identified Sanghera as the suspected attacker.

If this director is found guilty of this crime, he should be ejected from the Gurdwara’s management, and be made to address the congregation for this horrible act.

The clash was a culmination of rival factions fighting for control of the Gurdwara that has now played out in courts and involved law enforcement:

Numerous directors said Saturday’s clash was the latest and most disturbing chapter in an ongoing dispute between rival factions on the temple’s board of directors. The 73-member board has split between a controlling group of directors, mostly elected around 2008, and an opposition group. More than 4,400 people attend the temple on Tierra Buena Road.

It is especially a tragic state of affairs considering much of what has transpired is against the very principles that the Sikh faith was founded upon.  Clearly, this brawl suggests a severe failure in the management of the Gurdwara, and if those who participated in the brawl do not have the integrity to resign and/or to not seek management positions, the recruitment of an entirely new management of this Gurdwara — excluding all those who have participated in this disgrace — needs to be established in order for a new path to be charted.

It is really now in the congregation’s hands, who must demand more from the caretakers of this house of worship.


  1. It is distressing to hear and read about such fights in Gurudwaras around the world. A couple of days ago there was a similar clash at Rakabganj Sahib in Delhi. Are these guys ever going to learn how to sit across the table, discuss and get over their differences in a civilized manner.

  2. Pingback: Second man arrested in Yuba City, CA, Gurdwara riot « American Turban


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