3 arrested in connection to Turlock Sikh temple brawl

Fight at Sikh temple involved 100 people


TURLOCK, Calif. (KCRA) —Three people were arrested in connection to a fight that broke out inside a Turlock Sikh temple. The arrests were made on Thursday and Friday.

Sandeep Singh, 38, of Ceres, was taken into custody for assault with a deadly weapon after investigators talked to witnesses and reviewed cellphone video, the Turlock Police Department said.

On Friday, Turlock police said two other people were arrested in connection to the temple brawl: Balwinder Kaur Bagri, 51, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and criminal conspiracy and Gurdev Singh, 47, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse.

A fight involving 100 people broke out at the Sikh temple, located on 5th Street, Sunday afternoon. When officers arrived at the scene, they didn’t see a fight but remained on scene because of heightened tension.

The Sikh temple is currently in a leadership dispute that has caused tension among its members.

A fight broke out again around 12:30 p.m. Inside, officers found several disturbances throughout the temple.

Police said Bagri and others confronted two victims outside of the temple’s restrooms and physically assaulted them. The victims suffered non-life threatening injuries that required medical treatment.

Witnesses told police that Gurdev Singh grabbed a chimta, a musical instrument used to hit drums, and swung it towards a group of people, hitting two people. One person was hit in the head and another person was hit in the arm; both got treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

With help from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement was able to gain control of the situation.

Several people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, but no one was arrested Sunday night, police said.

The investigation into the brawl is ongoing.