55 arrests after dozens of ‘sword-wielding protesters’ storm Gurdwara Sahib Sikh temple in Warwickshire, UK
Unconfirmed reports armed males were demonstrating against a mixed race marriage
Other reports, also unconfirmed, say armed males were protesting inter-faith marriage
Police seize significant quantity of ‘bladed weapons’, no injuries reported
Cops arrest 55 people for aggravated trespass
Members of the congregation outside the Gurdwara Sahib Sikh temple in Warwickshire
Warwickshire Police have made 55 arrests after dozens of ‘sword-wielding’ protesters are stormed a Sikh temple in the UK, early Sunday.
A group of about 30 men men are believed to have entered the Gurdwara Sahib in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, with ‘blades’ this morning. Reports claim the armed males were demonstrating against a mixed race marriage, although this remains unconfirmed. Other equally unconfirmed reports say the more than 30 armed males were protesting an inter-faith wedding at the temple, one of the largest i the world outside India, which took 9 years to build at the cost of nearly $15 million.
Warwickshire Police said the situation was ‘an escalation’ of a ‘local dispute’. It was reported that the protesters entered the temple just before 7am local time.
Police cordon off access to roads to the temple
Police activity following the ‘situation’ at the Sikh temple shut down activity around the neighborhood. WCops said the ongoing situation is ‘an escalation’ of a ‘local dispute’
Officers said the dramatic incident is not being considered as a ‘terrorist incident, but was being treated as an ‘aggravated trespass’ that it is part of the ‘ongoing’ local disagreement.
As the incident unfolded, police sent in negotiators along with local religious leaders went in a bid to bring the deescalate the tense situation and broker a peaceful resolution.
Police Superintendent David Gardner described the situation as “contained”, noting that the incident was “an escalation of a local dispute”.
Police sources say responding officers seized “a significant number of bladed weapons from the scene. As a result of reports that the men were in possession of these weapons we deployed armed officers as a precaution”.
Superintendent Gardner added: “Over the coming days we will be working with local the Sikh community to address some of the ongoing issues that have culminated in today’s events.
“We would like to thank local people for their patience while we dealt with this incident.”
Shaken residents reported seeing a police helicopter circling in the sky.
The Gurdwara SahibSikh Temple
Reports claim the armed protesters are demonstrating against a mixed race marriage
While some have taken to social media to expresse shock that bigotry or intolerance could possible be the cause of the confrontation , with the non confirmation coming from the authorities, a local on he scene posted on Facebook that the drama had unfolded as a Sikh prepared to marry a ‘non-Sikh’, adding: “Police everywhere, helicopter, the lot.”
The group of ‘between 20 and 30’ men reportedly entered the temple at 6.47am.As at the time of the report, it is believed that some of the males are still occupying the building, with ‘a number’ of others arrested by officers.
Heavy police presence outside the Gurdwara Sahib Sikh temple
So far, there have been no reports injuries. However, the authorities have not confirmed whether the men were ‘protesting’ against a mixed-race marriage, an inter-faith marriage, as claimed in some reports, or another matter.