A violent sword fight broke out between two rival Sikh groups at India’s Golden Temple in Punjab today.
According to local reports, up to 12 people were injured in the fighting that took place at the holiest shrine in the Sikh religion.
Video footage shows dozens of Sikh men fighting and chasing each other with swords on the steps outside the shrine.
Video footage from Indian television showing violent clashes between SIkhs at the Golden Temple. Video via Youtube/Zee News
Video via Facebook/Avtar Singh Khanda
The fighting was over who would be allowed to speak at a ceremony marking the anniversary of a military operation that killed hundreds of people in 1984.
Operation Blue Star, as it was codenamed, was an army raid ordered by India’s then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that attempted to drive out Sikh separatists in the Golden Temple. The notorious operation killed 400 people, according to the Indian government, with Sikhs saying the figures were much higher.
Gandhi was later assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation for Operation Blue Star. This in turn sparked days of massive anti-Sikh riots that killed as many as 3,000 people.
"Today we were supposed to have a solemn remembrance for the martyrs of 1984, so what has happened is very sad," said Prem Singh Chandumajra, a spokesman for the Sikh party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
"The temple has once again been dishonored today,” Chandumajra added.
Indian security forces were brought in to break up the fighting and later reported that the situation was under control.