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Murder, attack on police, chopping limbs and more: 10 recent incidents of violence by Nihang Sikhs

This shocking incident of attack on Sandeep Thapar, caught on camera, follows a series of violent acts attributed to Nihang Sikhs, including the brutal killing of a youth at a Phagwara gurdwara and multiple confrontations with police in Kapurthala and Amritsar.

In recent years, there has been a disturbing rise in incidents of violence involving Nihang Sikhs and men dressed in Nihang attire. On 5th July, 58-year-old Sandeep Thapar, known as Gora and the chief of the Shiv Sena in Punjab, was viciously attacked with swords by four assailants in Nihang attire outside Ludhiana Civil Hospital. This shocking incident, caught on camera, follows a series of violent acts attributed to Nihangs, including the brutal killing of a youth at a Phagwara gurdwara and multiple confrontations with police in Kapurthala and Amritsar.

Attack on Shiv Sena leader Sandeep Thapar

On 5th July, 58-year-old Sandeep Thapar, also known as Gora who is the chief of the Shiv Sena in Punjab was attacked with swords by four unidentified individuals dressed as Nihang Sikhs outside the Ludhiana Civil Hospital. The entire instance was recorded on camera. Notably, his security detail was reduced a week earlier. Sandeep Thapar, who is a descendant of Indian freedom fighter and martyr Sukhdev, was assaulted upon leaving the Samvedna Trust office next to the Civil Hospital.

Police revealed that the accused who were waiting outside, assaulted him with swords and beat him on the head before absconding from the spot. His lone gunman did not try to pursue the assailants or fight back to defend him. Witnesses brought the severely injured man to the civil hospital, where he was subsequently referred to the nearby Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

According to Shiv Sena Punjab’s youth wing chief Sumit Arora, the victim had at least three gunmen providing security, but the police removed that protection a week ago. A gunman was later brought back to him. He added that the gunman used to abstain from work and watch silently, enabling the perpetrators to escape with ease. The police have started the inquiry and are looking for the culprits.

Youth killed by Nihangs in Phagwara Gurdwara

On 16th January, a Nihang Sikh allegedly killed a youth at a gurudwara in Phagwara, Punjab, on suspicion of sacrilege. The accused identified as Ramandeep Singh Mangu Math, posted the footage of the youth before murdering him and claimed responsibility for the murder.

After committing the heinous crime, the accused locked himself inside the Chaura Khooh Gurudwara. Senior police officers rushed to the scene when they were informed about the incident and recovered the body of the victim but he has not been identified yet. The accused is also yet to be arrested.

Nihangs attacked police in Kapurthala

On 22nd November, Nihang Sikhs opened fire at police officers in Sultanpur Lodhi of district Kapurthala, Punjab. One policeman was reportedly killed, while two were injured. The incident took place when police went to arrest some Nihang Sikhs at a Gurdwara. The police personnel were standing on the road when Nihangs opened fire at them. The senior officials rushed to the spot after receiving the information. An additional police force was deployed to maintain law and order in the area.

As per police officials, there was a scuffle between two Nihang Sikh groups over ownership of Sri Akal Bunga Sahib Gurdwara. When the police reached the Gurdwara to detain Nihang Sikhs, who were accused of infringing on the premises, they opened fire.

Dalbir Singh killed by Nihang in Amritsar

On 11th August 2023, a 50-year-old Nihang Sikh man named Dalbir Singh alias Bau was arrested for killing his teenage daughter and dragging her dead body by tying it to his motorbike in Mucchal village in Amritsar district of Punjab. Accused Dalbir Singh slashed his daughter with a sword at around 2 pm on Thursday. The only fault of the 16-year-old girl was that she went to an acquaintance’s house and returned the next day. Police arrested the accused and booked him under murder charges.

Man killed by Nihangs for allegedly smoking near Golden Temple

On the intervening night of 7th and 8th September 2022, a man was hacked to death by a group of four men, including two Nihang Sikhs, outside a hotel close to the Golden Temple following an argument over smoking. The CCTV footage of the incident has gone viral on social media. The deceased has been identified as Harmanjit Singh of the Chatiwind area. As per the reports, an argument broke out between Harmanjit and four other men, including two Nihang Sikhs, over smoking. The argument turned violent, and the man was allegedly assaulted with a sharp-edged weapon by the Nihangs, which led to his death on the spot.

In the CCTV footage, the victim was seen sitting on a bike next to an e-rikshaw when Nihangs stopped him, and they got into an argument. Within a few minutes, the argument turned violent and went into a fistfight. However, the Nihangs overpowered Harmanjit and pushed them to the side of the road, where he was allegedly attacked with a sharp-edged weapon.

Scuffle broke between Nihang Sikhs and Radha Soami Satsang Beas followers

On 4th September 2022, a clash broke out between Nihang Sikhs and followers of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas after the Nihang Sikhs of Tarna Dal Baba Bakala (Baba Pala Singh) group allegedly tried to enter the Dera premises to graze their cattle. Both sides reportedly pelted stones, used swords, and fired shots at each other during the clash. At least 12 people have been reported to be injured, including police personnel.

Following the clash, an additional police force was deployed in the area, and senior police officials took charge of the situation, including the Inspector General of Police. As per the Police’s statement, a group of Nihang Sikhs wanted to enter the Dera premises to graze their cattle. The lands of both groups are side-by-side. The Dera followers stopped them from entering the premises which led to the clash.

Youth killed by Nihangs for allegedly smoking on road in Delhi

On 17th June 2022, a youth was killed in Delhi for allegedly smoking on the road. In the early hours of Wednesday, June 15, two Nihang Sikhs reportedly stabbed a food delivery executive in Delhi’s Tilak Nagar area over a petty issue. The 29-year-old deceased who has been identified as Sagar Singh worked as a delivery partner for the food delivery company Zomato.

He was reportedly stabbed in the chest with a kirpan and then his head was smashed with bricks by the two Nihang Sikhs for ‘smoking’ on the roadside. The deceased, according to his family members, was lying on the road in a pool of blood for at least 20 minutes, but none of the bystanders stepped forward to help him. Later, another delivery boy spotted Sagar Singh and rushed him to the hospital, where the doctors declared him brought dead.

Men dressed as Nihang Sikhs destroyed idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses in Amritsar

On 7th March 2022, miscreants dressed as Nihang Sikhs damaged a Shiva idol at a Jagran close to Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. The incident was captured on CCTV. A case has been filed in the incident.  As per reports, a Jagran was being organized by Naujawan Sabha at Katheria Bazaar near Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. After the Jagran was over at 5:30 AM, some miscreants dressed as Nihang Sikhs damaged the Shiva idol using a barcha (lance). The CCTV footage of the area showed five miscreants dressed as Nihang Sikhs appearing from the back of the stage. One of them used the barcha and damaged the idol from behind. Then they moved to the front of the stage.

A few moments later, more miscreants appeared in the footage, and one of them further damaged the idol by hitting it with the bacha with full force. Shiv Sena leader Sudhir Suri alleged that when the miscreants came in front of the setup, they misbehaved with the organisers and used abusive language.

Poultry farmer attacked by Nihang Sikhs for not giving him chicken

On 21st October 2021, reports have emerged that another Dalit worker has fallen victim to their rage. A poultry farm worker was allegedly beaten up at the border area for not yielding to the demands of a Nihang Sikh.

A report by the Hindi daily, Dainik Bhaskar, suggests that a Nihang named Naveen Sandhu, who is involved in the ‘farmers’ protest, had assaulted the labourer who supplied chicken near the Singhu border. In a fit of rage, Naveen Sandhu purportedly broke the poultry worker’s leg when the latter refused to give him chicken.

Dalit man Lakhbir Singh killed by Nihang Sikhs during farmer protests

On 15th October 2021, a man identified as Lakhbir Singh was found brutally murdered with his right hand chopped and hung to a barricade at the Kundli border farmers’ protest site just outside of New Delhi on Friday morning. Reportedly, he was hacked to death by Nihang Sikhs on Thursday night for allegedly desecrating the holy book of Guru Granth Sahib. His right hand was chopped and tied near his body at the Kundli border, between Haryana and Delhi which has been occupied by so-called protesting farmers. The victim’s body was then tied to a barricade using ropes just behind the main protesting stage for public viewing. The accused was arrested by the police who showed no remorse on murdering Lakhbir.

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