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  • Sikh shootings in Smethick

    by Sunny
    28th November, 2006 at 3:59 pm    

    Police have appealed for witnesses today after two mourners were shot as they left a Sikh funeral in Birmingham. The double shooting happened at the Tollgate Shopping Precinct car park in Churchill Street, Smethwick, between 6 and 6.30pm yesterday.

    Two men aged 49 and 28 from the Birmingham area were exiting the car park in their vehicle, when they were shot by a man, with what is believed to be a handgun. The 49-year-old man received a gun shot wound to his leg and the 28-year-old man was shot in his shoulder and pelvis. [24 Dash]

    Anyone remember Shere Punjab? A source tells me that the shootings are connected to a newer crop of gang-members of SP trying to take over the Smethwick Gurudwara. Make of that what you will.
    This has nothing to do with the Lozells shooting a few weeks ago.

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    31 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 4:02 pm  

      Bloody hell.

    2. Sid — on 28th November, 2006 at 4:04 pm  

      Are the words “new generation” when applied to gang members entirely appropriate right now?

    3. Sunny — on 28th November, 2006 at 4:08 pm  

      Good point Sid, have changed the wording now, it was almost unconcious. Heh.

    4. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 4:08 pm  

      Shere Punjab are real criminals — started out as a street gang that fought with Muslims and black youth, went into crime, but I thought they had died out in the 1990s.

    5. Sid — on 28th November, 2006 at 4:09 pm  

      Freudian slippers.

    6. Jai — on 28th November, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

      =>”A source tells me that the shootings are connected to a newer crop of gang-members of SP trying to take over the Smethwick Gurudwara.”

      Great, paakhandi behaviour at its finest.

    7. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 4:30 pm  

      Oh dear - this is a very poor development.

      Jagdeep, can you tell us more about Shere Punjab?

    8. Chairwoman — on 28th November, 2006 at 4:34 pm  

      It’s incidents like this that remind us that we’ve all got skeletons in the closet and trolls under the bed.

    9. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 4:38 pm  

      We dont know if this is a development of anything per se.

      Nothing much to tell about Shere Punjab. They were a street gang formed in the 1980′s to fight against racists, they developed into a gang who fought against Muslims and blacks, went into criminal activity, but I thought they had more or less dissolved. A bunch of gangsters.

      For all we know it could just be an act of violence like this:

    10. William — on 28th November, 2006 at 5:20 pm  

      That’s terrible for the men and their families. I hope they catch those guys.

    11. Nav — on 28th November, 2006 at 11:56 pm  

      This is quite concerning and it reflects what I’m seeing as an increasing trend amongst some elements of Sikh youth.

      There’s a ‘radicalisation’ amongst a select few, that I have witnessed first hand, who frequent Gurdwaras in West London akin to that supposedly seen in the Muslim community- but perhaps to a lesser extent.

      The issues they contend include a perception that Sikhism has been diluted by out-of-touch elders in the community, and contraventions of Sikhism such as the consumption of alcohol on Gurdwara premises.

      It’s a little premature to comment but the flash backs of ‘Shere Punjab’ would seem apt.

    12. Raju — on 29th November, 2006 at 11:21 am  

      Word on the street is that it was a private beef. Your sources are wrong. Issues of beadbi are an issue of concern to alot of Sikhs hopefully these will be sorted out by agreement.

    13. Jock — on 29th November, 2006 at 1:46 pm  

      There’s been big problems at Smethwick gurdwara, something to do with the dirty committees. They are always fighting, bunch of embarresing Sikhs really. The shooting does not surprise me.

    14. Unity — on 29th November, 2006 at 8:58 pm  

      Not dirty committees, Jock, just a problem with a particular individual and as far as I am aware that problem should have been resolved about 12-18 months ago.

      I can’t say too much, but the Gurdwara has (or had, as it may have been altered since) a rather archaic constitution, which is some way short of being a paragon of democratic values. This is not, unfortunately, that unusual with a place of worship nor is it an issue confined to the Sikh community - I’ve seen equally poorly constructed governing documents for Hindu temples and Mosques.

      (I should say that amongst numerous other things I am a specialist in charity/NGO governance)

      The problem, which I’m sure Sunny and others will relate to, is that the consitution that I saw vested altogether too much authority in a single position, that of the President, particularly when it came to conduct of elections.

      When I last I spoke to anyone directly about this, this problem was well on the way to being resolved and the individual at the centre of the Gurdwara’s difficulties had departed.

      I should also say that for all that there has been issues within the Gurdwara itself, it has an excellent community arm, which is most certainly properly consituted in an appropriate and democratic fashion and which carries out a hell of a lot of good work in the area.

    15. Raju — on 30th November, 2006 at 2:17 pm  

      As I said, this was a private beef, and not connected to the gurdwara — I don’t want to name the names but it was a ‘business dispute’

      By the way, there was another shooting in Lozells last night, one man killed, don’t know if he was black or Asian

    16. Raju — on 30th November, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

      Somebody just walked into a shop and shot dead a man working there. Possible ‘revenge attack’, may be a random killing.

    17. Lloyd — on 30th November, 2006 at 2:21 pm  

      sunny hundal & his shit stirring! love it!!

    18. Manjit Singh — on 30th November, 2006 at 5:03 pm  

      It is amazing, that all of the comments including the original post have already judged and labeled somebody, in this case “SP” as the suspect. I am not a lawyer, or a policeman or a gangster or even live in England or know any gangs, but last time I checked, you are innocent until proven guilty. If these guys did it, they are a disgrace to Sikhs and Sikhism, but nothing shows that they have done it. Where are the all those good Sikh astronauts, engineers, scientist, doctors, techies, artists, coaches, teachers, policepersons than some thugs and gangsters? I guess some of you would have to work hard at being a nice, humble, brave Sikh to counterbalance this negative Sikh community’s image. It affects us all, even me sitting here in U.S.A.

    19. Unity — on 30th November, 2006 at 8:43 pm  


      In all communities there is an element of internal politics which. on occasion, may cast a particular community in a negative light and lead to erroneous but understandable assumptions/anxieties.

      I live maybe 3/4 mile from the Gurdwara in question and know it and a fair few of its congregation pretty well (I’m not a Skih, BTW). They’re good people and, by and large, are very well regarded/respected locally.

      I’ve not heard anything to suggest that SP were in any way involved in the shooting, nor any other fringe group for that matter, so it does appear to my this is a personal matter that’s spilled over into violence, unfortunately, and even more unfortunately, in close proximity to the Gurdwara.

      For all that, the local view seems not to have connected the shooting with the Gurdwara, if anything people around here are rather more shocked that it took place following a funeral.

      Were all a bit ‘funny’ like that round here. Shoot someone if you must, but don’t do it right after a funeral, that’s being disrespectful - that’s the Black Country for you.

    20. Jagdeep — on 30th November, 2006 at 10:05 pm  

      Were all a bit ‘funny’ like that round here. Shoot someone if you must, but don’t do it right after a funeral, that’s being disrespectful - that’s the Black Country for you.

      Eh…salt of the earth are black country people. But….I thought Smethwick was in Brum. Where does the Black Country begin? I thought everything up to Wolverhampton was Birmingham, and then the Black Country began at Wolves?

    21. William — on 1st December, 2006 at 12:22 am  

      Ah! common mistakes. The black country is really around Tipton, Cradley Heath. Wolverhampton isn’t the black country neither is Birmingham

    22. Sunny — on 1st December, 2006 at 1:50 am  

      this negative Sikh community’s image.

      what negative image?

      Unity - thanks for that. I have a contact (Sikh) who closely follows gang-related affairs in the Midlands… that was his reading of the situation anyway.

    23. Refresh — on 1st December, 2006 at 9:53 am  


      “what negative image?”

      Don’t go starting one!

    24. Raju — on 1st December, 2006 at 11:37 am  

      Sunny, time to dismiss your contact. The shooting was nothing to do with the Shere Punjab or the gurdwara. The Gurdwara has successfully ousted a dictator, Ravinder Powar, who treated the Gurdwara like his personal fiefdom, and has been put back in the control of the sangat. This was done peacefully, despite his gerrymandering of the constitution and alleged attempts to intimidate voters at the election. All in all, a very positive story indeed for Sikh community of Smethwick returning their place of worship to democratic control! But your headline and posting was actually very nudge-nudge wink-wink and that is frankly poor poor journalism and blogging indeed.

    25. Unity — on 1st December, 2006 at 11:45 am  

      Smethwick is a funny one in terms of the Black Country.

      It’s not part of the Black Country proper, which is defined more or less by the bounds of the old South Staffs cola field - so yes, Tipton, Cradley Heath, Dudley, Rowley Regis (which is where I’m from), Wednesbury and bits of Oldbury are the real Black Country and Smethwick a bit of a hinterland between us and Brum, although over the years, and particular since the creation of the Borough of Sandwell, its been kind of adopted.

      “Eh…salt of the earth are black country people.”

      Exactly. Hopefully everyone realises that we don’t actually condone shooting people but the fact that it did take place after a funeral is something that will draw a bit of extra local opprobrium.

      The best way to explain this is that if the perpetrators were being sentenced by a Black Country judge, they might get 10-15 years for the shooting and then an extra couple on top for being disrespectful to the deceased and their family.

      Like I said, we’re a funny lot round these parts.

    26. Unity — on 1st December, 2006 at 11:56 am  

      >>> I have a contact (Sikh) who closely follows gang-related affairs in the Midlands… that was his reading of the situation anyway.

      An understandable error, if it is, as it appears, a private matter, as there are still awkward undercurrents locally that occasionally creep out into the open.

      There is still a small KLF contingent locally that throws the occasional wobbly, but that tends to be confined to a bit of verbals with the local Nirankaris, who’re fairly prominent amongst the local, council-accepted, community leaders.

    27. Unity — on 1st December, 2006 at 12:04 pm  

      Thank for that, Raju.

      That’s my understanding of matters but as a non-Sikh, not something that I felt at liberty to discuss openly, particular as much of what I know was given in confidence by people I very much respect.

      As you rightly say, a very positive outcome for the local community.

    28. Unity — on 1st December, 2006 at 12:05 pm  

      And that should say ‘coal field’ not ‘cola field’ - jeez what a typo.

      If only we did have a cola field we might still have some industry left to speak of round here.

    29. Jock — on 1st December, 2006 at 3:50 pm  

      Raju, Nice to see you have dressed up the smethwick fiasco. From what I hear there have been fights, arguments, protests and police presence for over a month now. It’s ironic that the majority of the people putting their foot into the politics of Smethwick Gurdwara don not even live in Smethwick. From what I know Smethwick is the one of the largest yet unstable Gurdwaras in the country, everyone wants a slice of the cake. Now someone gets shot in Smethwick, the whole community think its part of the local Sikh Gurdwara related issue even the Sikhs. How strange!

    30. Smethwick local — on 2nd December, 2006 at 9:20 pm  

      People are too quick to point fingers at SP

    31. smethwick — on 2nd December, 2006 at 10:12 pm  

      shooting has got nothing to do with then gurdwara simple as that, the gurdwara just so happens to be near were the shooting took place, and the people shoot seem to be sikh but that does not mean anything.

      i dont know who those two people were who got shot but i can tell you as the word on the streets go they were not leget should we say

      i dont know if the SP are involved and dont really care. They are not not true sikh they have stolen the name of one of world most greatist leaders Maharaja Ranjit Singh, which is a disgrice and are using it for there own purposes. believe me i know them!

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