Cop Killed, 3 Others Injured After Nihangs Open Fire in Punjab's Kapurthala Over Gurdwara Control

  jennifer caffelle   5116   23 Nov, 2023 

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A cop was killed and three others were injured when a group of Nihang Sikhs opened fire inside a gurdwara in Punjab’s Kapurthala. According to sources, the entire ordeal happened over a fight regarding the ownership of the gurdwara. The incident took place when the policemen went to arrest some Nihangs (Sikhs armed with traditional weapons) in Sultanpur Lodhi in a case registered against them, said a senior police official over the phone. The policemen were standing on the road when the Nihangs opened fire at them, Kapurthala Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) Tejbir Singh Hundal told PTI. While one constable was killed, two other personnel sustained injuries, said the official. Senior officials have rushed to the site and police personnel in large numbers have been deployed in the area, they said. Who are Nihang Sikhs Distinguished by blue robles, antiquated swords and spears, and decorated turbans, Nihang is said to be an order of Sikh “warrior”. A Sikh historian, Dr Balwant Singh Dhillon, however, told Indian Express that the order seems to have its roots from the Sanskrit word ‘nihshank’, which loosely means courageous, unblemished, pure, and carefree. According to Dhillon, the origin of the order can be traced back to Guru Gobind Singh’s Khalsa in 1699 or his son Fateh Singh, who lived from 1699 to 1705. Dhillon says that once upon seeing Fateh’s majestic look -a blue chola and a blue turban – Guru remarked that it will be the dress of the Nihangs. On a slightly contrasting note, Paramjit Singh Judge, Department of Sociology, Guru Nanak Dev University, told The Print, “there are several theories about the origin of the Nihangs, including the one about their having been a part of the Akaal Sena and later Khalsa Fauj. But unlike the Udasi sect and the Nirmalayas who can be clearly traced back to the Sikh gurus, there is no concrete historical evidence of the origin of the Nihangs.”

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