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British police arrest armed men from gurdwara

By Ians English

London, Sept 12 : British police on Sunday made "a number of arrests" after more than 20 men, some carrying swords, entered a gurdwara on Sunday.

Pictures aired by local media showed police have arrested some members of the gang consisting of 20 to 30 men in the town, where a marriage between a Sikh and non-Sikh was due to take place, Xinhua reported.

London: Armed men from gurdwara

Mixed marriages had been a contentious issue in the local Sikh community.

Armed officers were on the scene at the Gurdwara on Tachbrook Drive and attempted to negotiate a peaceful solution, the Guardian reported.

"At this time we believe that it is an escalation of an ongoing local dispute," a police official said.

"The report was received at 6.47 a.m. after a group of between 20 and 30 men entered the temple. We believe that some of the men are in possession of bladed items and as such armed officers have been deployed to the scene," the police official added.

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

Birdi said mixed marriages has been a contentious issue in the local Sikh community, with a minority opposing using the temple for such services.

"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," Birdi said.

It is still unknown whether there were any casualties in the operation.


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