TURLOCK (CBS13) — Three people have been arrested in connection with a fight at a Turlock Sikh temple that was sparked by a leadership dispute.
Balwinder Kaur Bagri and Gurdeb Singh of Madera and Sandeep Singh of Ceres were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and additional charges.
Turlock Police say the melee broke out on Sunday at the 5th Street temple with punches flying and police coming in to calm the disorder. The fight was rooted in a leadership dispute at the temple between longtime residents and recent immigrants. A recent court ruling overturning a decision was likely the last straw.
The arrests were made after cellphone video surfaced and temple members were interviewed.
“We’ve identified [Singh] swinging a musical instrument which is referred to as a chimta at church members and actually striking members at the event,” said Turlock Police Chief Robert Jackson.
He says they’re sat down with both sides of a leadership conflict and hopes a team effort will keep the peace. The department has been invited inside the temple for this Sunday’s services.