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Group of ‘armed’ men occupies Sikh temple in the UK, confirms police

A group of men believed to be carrying "bladed weapons" have occupied a Sikh temple in the West Midlands region of England, said Police. Specially trained officers from Warwickshire Police are now believed to be

India TV News Desk, London [ Published on: September 11, 2016 21:28 IST ]
Group of ‘armed’ men occupies Sikh temple in the UK,
Group of ‘armed’ men occupies Sikh temple in the UK, confirms police

A group of men believed to be carrying "bladed weapons" have occupied a Sikh temple in the West Midlands region of England, said Police.

Specially trained officers from Warwickshire Police are now believed to be inside Gurdwara Sahib in the town of Leamington Spa to negotiate with the men.

A spokesperson for Warwickshire Police said: "The report was received at 6.47 am after a group of between 20 and 30 men entered the temple.

"This is currently being treated as aggravated trespass and at this time we believe that it is an escalation of an ongoing local dispute.

"We believe that some of the men are in possession of bladed items and as such armed officers have been deployed to the scene. Officers are inside the temple to negotiate a peaceful resolution.

"We would like to reassure people that this is not being treated as a terrorist incident," he said.

The spokesperson confirmed religious leaders in the temple were working with officers to negotiate a peaceful resolution.

"There are police cordons in place around the temple and we would ask that people avoid the immediate area while the incident is resolved," he said.

Some reports claimed the armed gang is demonstrating against a mixed race marriage, although this remains unconfirmed.

Jatinder Singh Birdi, a former treasurer at the temple, said a marriage between a Sikh and non-Sikh couple was due to take place.

"There have been tensions that have been going on for a couple of years with some people objecting to mixed marriages in taking place in the Gurdwara," he told BBC.

"The general consensus is people are respectful of mixed marriages if the traditions are respected. Nothing has happened on this level before. This is meant to be one of the happiest moments of somebody's life - it shows a lack of respect," he said.

A police cordon is currently in force around the temple while officers and religious leaders try to end the stand-off.

(With inputs from PTI)

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