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8 Arrested In Sword Fight At Sikh Temple In Queens

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Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Gurdwara Sikh Center (credit: Facebook)

Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Gurdwara Sikh Center (credit: Facebook)

metaxas John Metaxas
John Metaxas is an award-winning news reporter and anchor at ...
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A weekend brawl involving cricket bats and swords at a Sikh temple in New York City led to riot and assault charges against eight people.

Police said the defendants interrupted prayer services at the Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Sikh Center in Queens on Sunday. They were arraigned Monday.

“They attacked everyone.  A lot of people cut, they are some in the hospital,” Raghbar Singh told CBS 2’s John Metaxas.

Gurmaj Singh, the current temple president, said the attackers used musical instruments, swords, bats and metal rods against worshippers in the temple.  Paul Singh, 16, said the weapons were hidden near the altar before the apparent premediated attack.

“They were very scared and they were screaming when they were running out,” Raghbir Singh said.

The dispute is at the center of a lawsuit in state Supreme Court. Many blamed a former president of the community for instigating the violence because of opposition to opening up membership.

“It’s very bad, very shameful. This is a place of worship. We should not have any fight like that,” Raghbir Singh said.

Ten people were injured in the melee including a police officer. None of the injuries were life threatening.

Some of those arrested Sunday also were charged with disrupting a religious service.

Did you witness the brawl? Leave a comment below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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