London: An Indian national has been honoured by British police for saving the life of a Sikh religious leader who was attacked at a Gurudwara in the UK in 2013.
51-year-old Baldev Singh travelled to the UK from India to receive his commendation for bravery from Leicestershire Police.
He was at the forefront of a group of worshippers at the Namdhari Sikh Gurudwara at Spinney Hills in Leicester city in August 2013 when a man took out an axe and attempted to assassinate Namdhari Sikh sect leader Satguru Uday Singh.
"If I hadn't intervened, the situation would have been very different and there would have been a lot of upset within the community. It was my natural instinct to save His Holiness...," Baldev said.
"I had a feeling that something wasn't right but no one had any idea that something like this would happen within a religious ceremony," he said. The Guru is the worldwide leader of the Namdhari Sikh sect and was in the UK from India for the first time on a highly publicised visit.
Police said Baldev's brave intervention saved the life of the guru, who received a broken arm and a cut to his nose in the attack.
"I am always taken aback when I hear of the acts of bravery and kindness that happen in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland every day," said Leicestershire Chief Constable Simon Cole, who presented the award to Baldev.
Ranjit Singh Flora of the Namdhari Sikh community in Leicester said, "Baldev was the first person to get up and defend His Holiness. He is a very brave man".
Led by Baldev, who is secretary to the guru at the headquarters of the sect at Sri Bhaini Sahib in Punjab, the group managed to disarm the man, who was later convicted of attempted murder and was jailed for 17 years.
Harjit Singh Toor, 27, was found guilty by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court in May last year.