Monday, April 23, 2007

Trouble At Handsworth Vaisakhi Carnival

Brum Evening Mail.

A man was today fighting for life in hospital after being repeatedly stabbed as Vaisakhi (Punjabi New Year, also the founding of the Sikh khalsa) celebrations in Birmingham erupted into violence.

More than a dozen other people were also injured in the trouble which began in Handsworth Park and spread to surrounding streets.

A fleet of nine ambulances were sent to scene, and paramedics gave first aid to victims as the violence continued for more than four hours yesterday.

Other officers were forced to close the park, in Holly Road, and surrounding roads and urged people to stay away from the area.

An estimated 100,000 people were enjoying the event when the violence started at 3pm and the ambulance service was still receiving 999 calls more than four hours later.

The stabbed man, who has not been named but is in his mid 50s, was today critically ill in hospital.

The other victims, some with very serious injuries, were treated at hospitals across the city.

Gangs ? Religious trouble ? "Intra-communal" ? Four hours of incidents isn't just one group of youth not getting on with another group. Anyone know what's going on ?

UPDATE - Sunny and Kulvinder in the comments at Pickled Politics say it's probably gang-related - said gangs (Shere Punjab and Babbar Khalsa - named after the Khalistan seperatist terror group) having previous of various sorts.

UPDATE2 - BBC report

Witnesses reported seeing ceremonial swords being drawn and men carrying sticks. A paramedic said people tried to rock their ambulance and open the doors as they made their way through the crowds to treat the stabbing victim. He said one man stood in front of the vehicle and said: "Leave him, let him die."

UPDATE3 - Express and Star comments :

"… the people involved they arnt sikhs behaving the way they did, even worse they were grown men, what sort of example is this to set to our youngsters???… even this event will be tarnished like all the other desi events…. typical apne bande ..cant behave .."

"there wuz already a fight a week b4 dis at smethik… manz need 2 fix up.. u cud hav sorted mattaz at a nex place.."

Already a fight a week at Smethwick ?

"from what I have heard, the men who were responsible for the stabbing want to take control over the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick and the guy who got stabbed was standing in there way. The men who committed this crime are only concerned about getting there dirty hands on the money which is given by the congregation to the gurdwara"

The Guru Nanak Gurdwara wants an "independent sovereign Sikh State of Khalistan" - which of course Sikhs once had under Ranjitsinghi, appears not to like the Indian Government, sends money to "families of Sikh Shaheeds (martyrs) of 1984 or after in India", and runs a registered political party, the Sikh Federation, "based on the "miri-piri" principle the Sikh principle that temporal and spiritual goals are indivisible."

Hmmm. If by shaheeds they mean innocent Sikhs killed in massacres after 1984, fair enough - indeed a worthy cause. If this guy is a shaheed I'm not so sure.

The story of Flight 182 is a murky one. I seem to remember seeing a memorial plaque at the Old Head of Kinsale twenty years back, but can't find it on the Web. And I see the Old Head has been privatised.

UPDATE4 - more comment at Punjab2000.

well from wot i've heard, the leader of SP (the guy hu got stabbed) knocked off sum singh's pagg (turban ? LT. My Punjabi's pretty poor), which lead to the stabbin. it's something to do with gurdwara politics.

and more background on SP, BK and Smethwick gurdwara politics.

Simply Bhangra

apparently hes part of sum gang called SP...? n he was propa runnin his mouth 2 all lyk da amrit dhari sikhs sayin u dow kno nefin da fightin broke out n he got stabbed wid a kirpan i fink n was immedietly taken in2 da ambulance where all da amrit dhari sikhs were crowdin round sayin let him die!! it soundz mental!


Harry J said...

No idea what really happened. No doubt it's not good news which is why information is sparse. What struck me was that, on Central News at least, there was no mention of the St Georges day parade in Sandwell on the same day. According to the Sandwell council website it was attended by 15,000 people and was led by armed forces veterans. I did intend to go but unfortunately I had to endure Wolves losing 3-2 at home to Birmingham City instead.

Anonymous said...

No doubt the stabbings and other gang related crap that took place at the St Georges day parade somehow failed to make the news...

Anonymous said...

I have had an idea? I too would like more non MSM details about some stories.

What about creating a Geog-blog?
This would be a list of bloggers who are based particular areas. If someone wanted info about local goings on one could simply look up local bloggers.