Bhai Gurpreet Singh, a Sikh priest was injured after allegedly being attacked by unidentified men at the gates of the Woolston Sikh temple in Christchurch.
The incident happened at the Gurudwara Singh Sabha on Ferry Rd, Woolston about 6 am on Wednesday, 15 September 2021.
Bhai Gurpreet stated that the gate of the Gurdwara is usually open, but that day as he arrived, it was somwhow closed, and he had to get out of his car to open it.
As soon as he stepped out of his car, he got attacked.
The assailants had their faces covered.
The victim stated that one of the attackers was over 6 feet tall and was the most aggressive and repeatedly hit him with a baseball bat.
The attack left him with broken bones in his left arm and right hand.
As per available information, It does not appear to be a racial attack; instead, it is allegedly the handiwork of some disgruntled elements known to him, resulting from some personal enmities.
The attackers have since been identified, and their names provided to the Police.
Bhai Gurpreet hails from the Amritsar region in Punjab, and got married earlier this year in March.
The New Zealand Sikh Society (South Island) which manages the Woolston Gurdwara, handed over all the CCTV footage.
The Police are investigating the matter and have assured the community of a fair, fulsome investigation and bringing the perpetrators to justice.
A post from the group’s Facebook said a Pathi or Sewadar (a volunteer who helps a gurudwara or their community for religious reasons) was “confronted” by “some unidentified men” at the gate and the volunteer suffered injuries.
It said the society would be exploring more lighting options at the temple and would be working with the Christchurch City Council to get more lighting near the gate.
A police spokeswoman said Police received a report of the assault on Wednesday and were continuing to investigate.
Christchurch has two Sikh temples, one in Woolston and another in Riccarton.
Sikhism is the country’s fastest growing religion according to the latest Census, with about 41,000 now in New Zealand.
Christchurch’s Sikh community is believed to have grown rapidly from about 1000 people pre-earthquakes to more than 10,000 who call Christchurch home as of last year.
Below is the cdetailed ommunity notice put up by the Gurdwara committee on their facebook page.
Community notice :There was an incident at the gate of the Gurdwara Sahib on 15 September 2021 at 6.00 am. The Pathi (Sewadar) who comes everyday to do ‘parkash’ was confronted by some unidentified men at the gate and in the process, the sewadar suffered some injuries.
The New Zealand Sikh Society (South Island) Inc. (NZSS) reported the matter to the Police without any delay with a detailed statement and camera recordings which clearly recorded the incident spanning just over a one minute period. The Police have assured us that they will investigate. NZSS is committed to help in the police investigation and to offer appropriate support required by the pathi singh.
NZSS requests all attendees to be a bit more watchful especially when it is dark. NZSS will be working with the Christchurch City Council to get more lighting near the gate. NZSS will also explore more lighting options near the gate.
In summary, nothing to be alarmed off but take normal precautions as you will do normally.
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