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India: What better way to commemorate a fatal attack…

June 7, 2014

…than by swordfighting over who gets to speak at the ceremony?

Several people have been injured after Sikh groups brandishing swords clashed at India’s Golden Temple as special prayers were held to mark the deadly military offensive there in 1984.

Reports said the fight at Sikhism’s holiest shrine was over who would speak first at the ceremony and that a scuffle broke out over a microphone.

Footage showed men running down temple steps lashing out with their swords.

Reports said at least three people had been taken to hospital with injuries.

The Indian government says 400 people and 87 soldiers were killed during the 1984 military raid to flush out Sikh separatists from the Golden Temple at Amritsar, codenamed Operation Blue Star.

But Sikh groups say the number of casualties was much higher and estimate it closer to 1,000.

On Friday, hundreds of Sikhs had gathered at the shrine to remember those killed in the June 6 raid 30 years ago, but the ceremony soon erupted into chaos.

BBC News

As religious ceremonies have a habit of doing:

Angola: Evangelical crowd stampedes, kills 10

India: Over 90 dead as pilgrims panic on bridge

India: Hopefully no religious leaders were among the dead

 

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