UK: Two groups clash with swords and machetes at Kabaddi tournament in Derby, where Khalistani flags were seen atop poles, according to a report, four arrested

UK: Two groups clash with swords and machetes at Kabaddi tournament in Derby, where Khalistani flags were seen atop poles, according to a report, four arrested


On 20th August (local time), Derbyshire police arrested four men aged 24, 28, 30 and 38 on suspicion of possessing a firearm and violent disorder after a clash broke out at the Kabaddi tournament in Derby. As per reports, gunshots were fired, and men fought using swords, machetes and rods. Around four people were rushed to the hospital, out of which one was reportedly in serious condition.

Disturbing visuals. Viewers’ discretion is advised.

At around 4 PM, the armed police reached the event happening at Bridle Gate Lane in Alvaston after receiving a call about the clash. Videos of the incident went viral on social media in which around 50 masked men can be seen barging into the event site with rods, huge swords, knives and machetes near the food stalls. As soon as they entered the event site, a fight between the two groups broke out while the fans who visited to watch Kabaddi ran for their lives.

Disturbing visuals. Viewers’ discretion is advised.

As per the UK Mirror, an eyewitness said one of the victims was shot while the attackers chopped up the other. Some of the fans ran away, leaving their vehicles at the site after the attack.

In another video, a group of men were seen surrounding an injured man in the group. They kept hacking him with swords and knives while he stayed on the ground screaming and covered in blood. Reportedly, he was shot before being attacked by the swords.

In an official statement, Derbyshire police said that they have arrested four men. The police have requested the public to submit video footage of the incident to identify and arrest the culprits.

Chief Superintendent Emma Aldred said, “We are keen to speak to anyone with information about yesterday’s incident. We are aware of videos of the incident circulating online, we are carrying out investigations in relation to these, and I would encourage anyone with footage to send it to us for enquiries to continue. Officers remain in the area to provide reassurance to the community; please speak to them if you have any information or contact us using the methods provided.”

As per the Times of India report, Khalistani flags were seen hoisted during the Kabaddi event that was organised by England Kabaddi Federation UK (EKF). As per EKF, the Home Office has recognised Kabaddi’s official governing body in the UK. There are sixteen Kabaddi clubs in the UK associated with the Federation.

Disturbing visuals. Viewers’ discretion is advised.

EKF’s general secretary Surinder Singh Manak said in a statement that the attackers could not get past the crowd barriers that were protecting the pitch. While it was a horrific and terrifying incident, no bystander (player, official or spectator) was in any way attacked or involved. Initial unconfirmed enquiries indicate that it was a pre-arranged fight between rival gangs based in Midlands,” Manak said. “EKF wishes to emphasise that the gangs in question do not have any links or connections with any EKF-affiliated club or its members,” he said.

Speaking to TOI, vice president of Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara Kabaddi Club, Derby, Kulvinder Singh said, “It was an amazing day for the teams, sponsors, supporters and real fans of Kabaddi. Spoilt by mindless individuals that ruined everything we stand for. I can only apologise to the great spectators… I can only hope the police use every means possible to bring these evil criminals to justice.”

Disturbing visuals. Viewers’ discretion is advised.

President of England Kabaddi Association Ashok Das said, “It worries me as we are also called Kabaddi. Sports means peace and harmony. If people are frightened of sport, where can they go… I am worried this will put this young generation off Kabaddi.”

Manga Mithapuria Powar, a professional Kabaddi player, expressed his dismay on social media. In a Facebook post, he wrote, “Once again, another kabaddi tournament in Derby has been ruined! This appalling behaviour is not acceptable. If this behaviour continues, our mother game is over.”

TOI’s UK journalist Naomi Canton shared the official statement of EKF. The organisation said, “EKF understands that a fight broke out between unknown individuals in the car park, which then spread as far as the entrance gates of the Kabaddi playing areas, which, as always, was secured by the 2-meter high mesh security fence. However, the individuals involved did not get past the crowd barriers protecting the pitch.”

EKF had to abandon the event as the police declared the site a crime scene. The organisation said the police were not replying to them about the investigation. They said, “So far, we have had no direct contact from the police and despite trying numerously yesterday, we were unable to speak to the investigating officers on site.”

Kabaddi tournaments have a history of violence in the UK. In May 2007, a man named Jaswinder Singh Sahota was jailed for waving a long sword at a Kabaddi tournament in Gravesend. He was found guilty of chopping off the fingers of a security guard.

In 2016, the Home Office busted a nexus of non-EU players coming to play for the EKF. Reportedly, around 100 players from India and Pakistan went to the UK every year to participate in the EKF. It was only in 2019 that the visa situation got resolved.


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