California gurdwara shooting: Police arrest 17 men with machine gun, AK-47 in possession

Two of the people arrested are mafia members who are 'wanted on a number of murders' in India

Team Parvasi – Inside

California gurdwara shooting: Police arrest 17 men with machine gun, AK-47 in possession

Two of the people arrested are mafia members who are ‘wanted on a number of murders’ in India

California: Police in California have arrested 17 people in connection with a series of shootings in Gurdwaras in Stockton, Sacramento and other locations and seized weapons such as AK-47, handguns, and at least one machine gun in a series of raids carried out over 20 places, the State Attorney General said Monday.  The 17 felony arrests, mostly members of the local Sikh community, were made during a large-scale operation with agents executing search warrants at 20 locations in Northern California on Sunday according to an announcement made by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Yuba City Police Chief Brian Baker, and Sutter County District Attorney Jennifer Dupré.

At a news conference Dupré said, two of the people arrested are mafia members who are “wanted on a number of murders” in India.

The arrested members, said California Attorney General, are part of rival criminal syndicates who are alleged to be responsible for numerous violent crimes and shootings, including five attempted murders, in Sutter, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Yolo, and Merced counties.

Members of these groups were allegedly involved in a mass shooting at a Stockton Sikh temple which took place on August 27, 2022, and a shooting at a Sacramento Sikh temple on March 23, 2023.

During the investigation, law enforcement was able to prevent two additional shootings from occurring, a press release said.

“Today, California is safer thanks to collaboration, determination, and swift action by DOJ agents and our law enforcement partners in Sutter County,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

“No family should ever have to worry about drive-by shootings or other forms of gun violence in the neighbourhoods where their children live and play. As a result of this joint law enforcement effort, we’re taking guns off the street and putting suspected gang members and their associates behind bars,” he said.

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“An investigation of this magnitude requires a tremendous amount of time and effort, and especially a lot of personnel,” said Sutter County District Attorney General Jennifer Dupré.

Authorities arrested 17 people, including Karandeep Singh, Pardeep Singh, Pavittar Singh, Husandeep Singh, Sahajpreet Singh, Harkirat Singh, Tirath Ram, Dharamvir Singh, Jobanjit Singh, Gurvinder Singh, Nitish Kaushal, Gurminder Singh Kang, Devender Singh, Karambir Gill, Rajeev Ranjan, Jobanpreet Singh, and Singh Dhesi.

What led to rivalry in California’s ‘mini Punjab’s’ Sikh community where ‘brothers are fighting against brothers’

These men started out as one group as members of California’s Sikh community, and one faction broke off, and since then they have been rivals trying to outdo each other.

They mainly showed up at places and try to shoot each other “where brothers were fighting against brothers,” said authorities in Northern California on Monday.

Sutter County District Attorney Jennifer Dupré said the two syndicates were responsible for multiple shootings where 11 people were shot, including five people at a gurdwars in Stockton last year and two more victims at a temple in Sacramento last month. None of the victims died.

The violence began in 2018 at the annual Sikh Parade in Yuba City, one of the largest South Asian festivals held outside of the Indian subcontinent.There, Dupré said, a man was beaten so hard with a sword that it broke. The violence soon escalated to shootings, including one at a wedding party in 2021.

A shooting still happened at the parade, injuring two people, but Dupré said a “mass casualty incident” was prevented. “If those weapons had gotten into the parade, it could have been a bloodbath,” Dupré said.

Altogether, Dupré said police seized 41 guns during the investigation, including a weapon described as a “machine gun.”

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