ਚੁਕਾਰਅਜ਼ਹਮਹਹੀਲਤੇਦਰਗੁਜ਼ਸ਼ਤ॥ਹਲਾਲਅਸਤਬੁਰਦਨਬਸ਼ਮਸ਼ੀਰਦਸਤ॥੨੨॥ (ਸ੍ਰੀ ਮੁਖਵਾਕ ਪਾਤਿਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦॥)

Akal Purakh Kee Rachha Hamnai, SarbLoh Dee Racchia Hamanai


    View Post Listing    |    Search    



Incident at Lehar Centre
Posted by: JugrajSingh (IP Logged)
Date: April 08, 2010 04:05PM

Over the past few days I have seen the media and various websites misinform the public about the incident at Lehar centre and the events that led up to the confrontation.

Firstly, I'd like to say that I was personally present at the Lehar centre and as such am an eye witness to the events that took place. However, I was not involved in the actual violence but played a role keeping things as peaceful as possible. I believe their is footage of me actually pushing people apart.


The chronological order of events:

Ragi Darshan came back to Canada on March 28 2010 and spoke at the Sikh Lehar Center. None in the community were aware of this incident and no one cared because it was equivalent to a private program.

Lehar Center gave ads in Ajit and other media promoting the April 2-4 program where Ragi Darshan was to speak. They promoted Ragi Darshan and invited sangat to the program.

Due to the violence that followed Ragi's program in Delhi, London and Germany some concerned individuals contacted the police of chief.

Manjit Mangat and other organizers of the event at the Lehar center continued to openly advertise Ragi Darhan's event.

A few Singhs from the community and myself were directed to contact Inspector Jeff Bond at the 21 Division regarding any information we could provide to prevent any unfortunate situations from developing.

On April 1st we gathered as many letters from various Gurdwaras in GTA area as possible stating that Ragi was an excommunicated preacher and his programs should be cancelled because such events had been a cause of violence in Delhi, London and Germany.

In our attempts to gather letters we got delayed and were unable to keep our 4 o'clock appointment with Inspector Jeff Bond. However we did go in the evening and speak to a Staff Sergeant and passed on to him all the letters and information we had gathered. We told him that their was a chance of a volatile situation developing if Ragi spoke at the event.

The sergeant assured us he would relay the information to the proper persons.

Daljeet Singh Sekhon (President of Malton Gurughar) and other Singhs met with Manjit Mangat and did benti to him to stop the event as it could lead to violence and badnaami for the whole community. Manjit Mangat refused. I am told their were two other attempts at creating a communication channel but they were shut down.

The following day some Singhs gathered at the Glidden Road Gurdwara and planned to go and protest the event. Just as the Singhs were about to leave Daljeet Singh Sekhon got a call from someone at the Lehar Center stating that the program had been cancelled. However, the sangtan were invited to come and matha tek and do vichar. It was openly announced at this point that the intent was to go do matha tek and do vichar and try to convince organizers that Ragi Darshan should not be given any time on gurdwara stage.

The Singhs proceeded to the event and when we reached their we were surprised to see the Sangat that had come to protest. Their was also a strong police presence and they were standing on either side of the steps that lead to the gurdwara entrance.

As I proceeded to the main entrance I noticed that their was a small crowd gathering on the steps leading to the entrace of the Gurdwara. About 20 to 25 people were standing inside the Lehar center, leaning on the glass windows and looking at the protesters.

Manjit Mangat and a few others were barring the entrace and then pushing sangat back. Some singhs told me they also saw wooden staffs and metal rods being held by some inside the Lehar Center. The people inside were keeping them out of sight of the police.

A few moments later the situation escalated and Manjit Mangat rolled down the steps (about 9 steps) and was in bad condition. AT this point the police officers who had been standing near the building broke up the fight and separated the two groups.

I personally did not witness a kirpan being used. However I am told that the police has some sort of a recording of a Singh holding a kirpan.

End of events.

Points to ponder.

1) After first openly advertising the event in the media and then inviting protesters to come and do vichar, why did Manjit Mangat and others then try and prevent the sangat from going inside the gurdwara? Also, why were they pushing the sangat and trying to conceal weapons?

2) If the 'mob' had gone with the mentality of fighting and kirpans unsheathed then why did the police even allow the Sangat to scale the stairs and enter the gurdwara? The fact is that Sangat that showed up did no show up in 'mob' style. Rather it was many small pockets of individuals moving towards the gurdwara from the parking areas. It was not mob like at all. It was all the advertising that attracted the protesters not any sort of gatering created by the Singhs at Glidden gurdwara.

3) The first person to get hurt was a Singh who was punched underneath his eye while trying to enter the gurdwara. He was with the Sangat who had come to protest the event. The protesters did not initiate the violence.

I am aware of Kim Bolan and others who portray Sikhs in a negative light and present one-sided stories. But these people are not associated with Sikhi in any way. They are outsiders. We can't expect anything else from them.

What does bother me is the article by Raveena Aulakh. She interviewed Manjit Mangat and his family and wrote a scathing article condeming the protesters. Others followed suit. And yet not one person seems to quote anyone who went to protest the event. Not one. And yet they all talk about being saints first and then soldiers. Is it not the character of a saint to try and ascertain the truth, to try and understand both sides of the stories?

Why is that some Sikhs have already decided that the Singh accused of the stabbing is guilty. I was at the actual event and didn't even see a Kirpan!! Let alone someone being stabbed. I am not saying it didn't happen (police cameras could have picked something up) but for those who were not even present, for them to condemn a man for attempted murder is outrageous.

Why are we so quick to judge without having the proper facts? I was just as upset as all other Sikhs when I read the resulting articles questioning the wearing of the kirpan. As a amritdhari Sikh this worries me greatly and not just because I wear a kirpan but because my kids are going to grow up in this country and I don't want it to be an up-hill battle for them.

However, if the journalists had done their homework they would have firstly known the real name of the Sikh who is charged with the stabbing. It is not Satwant Singh (Raveena Aulakh, Toronto Star) nor is it Sukhwant Singh. It is Dhanwant Singh.

Secondly, they would have known that the Singh has bipolar disorder and a previous charge against him has already been dropped due to this condition.

I am disgusted with how mob like some in the community have become. They were quick to be the judge and jury. Yet none of them took the time to find out what happened. They ignored the truth and exploited the situation to further their own agendas.

Balraj Deol is a perfect example. He is quoted as saying, < (The Kirpan) It’s a religious symbol. It can be tiny,” not more than 2 inches long. He also points out that the kirpan — a really small one — can be worn around the neck, which would address security concerns. >

Disgusting.

Jugraj Singh



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2010 12:13PM by admin.

 



Re: Incident at Lehar Centre
Posted by: * (IP Logged)
Date: April 08, 2010 09:43PM

How much more damege this Prof going to cause sikhi

 



Re: Incident at Lehar Centre
Posted by: Akaalee (IP Logged)
Date: April 10, 2010 09:05AM

Thanks Jugraj Singh for your account of the events at the center on that day. It was needed as a lot of misinformation was being put out that was all one sided.

 



Re: Incident at Lehar Centre
Posted by: Sunsingh (IP Logged)
Date: April 10, 2010 12:49PM

Jugraj Singh ji, please post your eyewitness account elsewhere as well. There is an overwhelming need to combat propaganda with rational eyewitness accounts.

 



Re: Incident at Lehar Centre
Posted by: scimitar (IP Logged)
Date: April 14, 2010 03:20PM

ragi camp are ducking and diving to cause problems

the different Sikh jathas that can and do come together should start their own media campaign on CD Audio DVD Punjabi and english to help the public understand Sikh Instituitions the 5 Sacred Banis and the difference between the Western Concept of Religion and Spiritual Sikhi.

 





© 2007-2017 Gurdwara Tapoban Sahib