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http://www.sikh24.com/2012/08/gurdwara-booze-party-busted/#.UDPg2KNSQ1D http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2012/08/21/sikh-protest-group-disrupts-indian-independence-celebrations-at-coventry-temple-92746-31667439/ ORGANISERS were forced to abandon celebrations of India’s independence and police had to be called in after Sikh hardliners staged a protest at a Coventry community centre. More than 50 members of the Satkaar group were protesting against what they claimed was the serving of meat and alcohol at the community centre, based at the Ramgarhia Gurdwara temple, in Foleshill Road, on Saturday night. Police were involved in a stand-off lasting two hours with the group, which protests against ‘code-breaking’ temples. The protesters claimed meat and alcohol were being served, both of which are shunned by devout followers of the religion. The event had been organised by members of the Indian Workers Association (IWA) to celebrate India’s Independence from British rule and its birth as a sovereign nation on August 15, 1947. Coun Ram Lakha (Lab, Binley and Willenhall), and secretary of the IWA, says protesters tore down the British and Indian flags at the centre and ordered guests to leave, despite assurances that no meat and alcohol would be served. Cuon Lakha said: “I told them we would make sure there was no alcohol or meat served at the centre – we offered to let them sit in to see for themselves, but they refused. "We had consent from the Ramgarhia Gurdwara to hold the event. “The unprovoked attack preventing a peaceful celebration by patriotic Indian workers and their families is disturbing and reprehensible.” The former Coventry Lord Mayor said he felt police should have done more to support members of the community, adding: “One policeman came to the centre and another police officer was outside. "They made the decision for me to leave the centre instead of telling the protesters to go. I thought about the safety of our members and told everyone to leave with me. “It was a very poor response from the police – they didn’t even bother to check that it was our right to be there.” Jaswinder Singh Ubhi, one of the protesters, said they had concerns about the serving of meat and alcohol on temple-owned premises. His group also believes India still doesn’t have full independence and to celebrate it was a “mockery”. “We wanted them to change the venue," he said. "If they want to celebrate it anywhere else they can do that. If people don’t listen then certain actions need to be taken. There were no arrests and no violence.” Supt Ron Winch, for Coventry Police, said: “We were made aware of plans for a peaceful demonstration on Saturday evening by members of the Sikh community. “Officers monitored the situation and were committed to supporting and facilitating a lawful, peaceful protest. “Sufficient resources were available to ensure public safety was maintained and although tensions were high, there were no criminal offences committed. “I am confident that our response was proportionate and we are continuing to liaise with representatives from the Ramgarhia Gurdwara in order to establish whether there is anything that can be learned from the incident should a similar protest happen again.”