At least two persons were injured when violence broke out during a protest in front of a gurdwara in the northeast Calgary district of Alberta province in Canada.
Calgary police said officers were called to Gurdwara Sahib Boulevard at 7.45 pm on Sunday when about 50 to 100 people were involved in a fight.
Officials said there were two previous calls for service at the Dashmesh Culture Centre earlier that day, each for different disturbances between the protesters and the building’s occupants.
“At approximately 1.15 pm, officers were initially dispatched for reports of a disturbance regarding individuals who were believed to be protesting at the location. Shortly after, a second call came in reporting the protesters had moved inside the building. Officers worked with the involved parties to de-escalate the situation,” Calgary Police Service said in a statement.
It’s believed no weapons were involved in the fight and there were no arrests, police said.
Calgary police have not released any details about what sparked the assault or if anyone has been charged.
Gurpartap Baidwan, one of the protest organisers, said some of the gurdwara congregation gathered in opposition to the temple’s elected leadership committee.
“(We were meeting) to oppose their various bylaw violations and a series of wrongdoings and grievances,” he told CTV News.
Baidwan said the leadership was not following the rules of their faith.
“They are required to abide by the Sikh rehat maryada that is issued by the Akal Takht, which is kind of like our Vatican,” he said.
“The issue that we’re having is that this committee that has come in is acting outside those parameters. They are not just violating the Sikh rehat maryada, which is the Sikh code of conduct, but they are also violating the institution’s bylaws as prescribed under Alberta law in the form of being a non-profit organisation.”
Baidwan said the protests began on December 24.
“That’s 15 day-and-night protests in this cold weather,” Baidwan said.
“Not once has the committee come outside and not once has the executive committee come outside to communicate or talk to the protesters outside. Why would they be hiding?”