Protest Breaks Out Over Visiting Preacher at Roseville’s Sikh Temple

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ROSEVILLE -- What was intended to be a peaceful night of worship at the Sikh Temple in Roseville Thursday night erupted with protest, leaving upwards of 50 people wrapped in the chaos.

The violence that had kids, women and even the elderly caught in the middle broke out because of a controversial visit from an Indian preacher, police say.

"It took us awhile to get everything under control we had to make sure no one got hurt and also to separate the groups," said Sergeant Jeff Kool with the Roseville Police Department.

Some members of the Sikh faith do not believe in the message the visiting preacher teaches, and that's when the violence broke out.

"They didn’t want them there and they left. At that point in time, probably about five to 10 minutes after arriving on scene, a large group showed up and then arguments began to occur. That group actually gained in numbers," Kool said.

Jesse Singh, one of the members of the temple, says they don’t condone violence. Singh says the Sikh faith is based strongly on the teachings of one religious book. However, the group of protesters believe the religion should acknowledge a second book.

It’s a clash of ideologies, a radical interpretation of the religion, which members say disagrees with more traditional or orthodox teachings. "It doesn’t really match the values of our core beliefs like respecting women, freedom of speech," said Singh.

Singh says he’s thankful no one was seriously injured and hopes that in the future there are more peaceful resolutions to disagreements.

"There is a time and a place for a lot of things, and I think that it’s just not appropriate to go to a place of worship and to bring up conflicting views and to bring up a protest where it puts women and children in danger," Singh said.