A brawl involving cricket bats and small swords at a Sikh temple in New York City led to riot
Police say the defendants interrupted prayer services at the Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Sikh Center in Queens on Sunday. They were arraigned Monday.
Temple president Jamail Singh told the Daily News that the fight was instigated by a dissident group of followers who are opposed to opening up membership.
The alleged attackers — armed with at least one sword about 40 inches long, and another sword, according to a witness — were part of the old guard that had been recently voted out of power but refused to accept the decision, even going to court to challenge the election.
“We just went to pray,” said M.K. Singh, who received stitches and staples to close a head wound. “We walked inside, and they started attacking.
“They cut me. They tried to cut my arm off, but the sword got caught on [something]. I’m very lucky.”
New temple President Gurmej Singh said he and his supporters had come to pray despite knowing there could be trouble.
Police had been deployed outside the two-story center in case anything happened, but the violence broke out inside.
The attackers brought the long sword and at least one other blade, as well as a hammer, mallet and cricket bats to the temple at 101st Avenue and 114th Street at around 11 a.m., witnesses and police said.
Three people were reported injured, including a cop who tried to intervene, police said.
The attackers vowed to show up again next week.
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