The tranquility of the early winter morning in Punjab was shattered on November 22, 2023, when a clash between two Nihang Sikh groups over the ownership of Gurdwara Akalpur Bunga in Kapurthala escalated into a violent confrontation, resulting in the tragic death of a police officer and leaving several others injured.
Breaking: A clash between Nihang Singhs and the Police occurred at Sultanpur Lodhi. Around 4 am this morning, there was an exchange of firing between the Police and Nihang Singhs, resulting in the reported death of a policeman and injuries to three others when a group of Nihang… pic.twitter.com/YF6XkLmjmm— Gagandeep Singh (@Gagan4344) November 23, 2023
The dispute over Gurdwara Akalpur Bunga, a revered Sikh shrine, has been simmering for some time, with two rival Nihang factions laying claim to its ownership. The tension between the groups reached a boiling point when nearly three dozen Nihangs from one faction attempted to seize control of the gurdwara.
In response, police intervened to prevent the takeover, but their efforts were met with fierce resistance from the Nihangs. The situation quickly spiraled out of control, as both sides resorted to violence, leading to a chaotic and deadly clash.
In the ensuing melee, one police officer was killed, while three others sustained injuries. The Nihangs also suffered injuries, with some reports suggesting that as many as five were wounded.
The incident has sent shockwaves through Punjab’s Sikh community, casting a shadow over the state’s otherwise peaceful atmosphere. It has also raised concerns about the growing influence of aggressive groups and their tendency to resort to violence in resolving disputes.