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‘Shocked and scared’: Brisbane Sikh temple condemns violent brawl that left eight men injured

Police said a group of men were intercepted at Nathan Street while trying to flee the scene. Source: ABC News: Rachel McGhee

Sikh temple in Brisbane has released a statement regarding a violent incident that took place at Daw Street in Runcorn on 13 September. This follows Queensland Police investigations of the incident that led to the hospitalisation of three men, including one with "limb-threatening" injuries.

The management committee of the Brisbane Sikh temple (Gurudwara) at Eight Mile Plains has condemned the brawl involving around 40 men armed with baseball bats and poles about 10.30pm on Monday.

In a brief statement released by the Brisbane Sikh temple on their Facebook page, the committee strongly condemned the behaviour of those involved, who they said have brought "disrepute" to the community. 


Highlights

  • Massive brawl in Brisbane's south involving 40 men
  • Eight people were taken to hospital, three seriously injured
  • Police arrested eight men, investigations are continuing
  • Brisbane Sikh temple condemns this violent incident 

"This type of behaviour will not be tolerated, and the committee will provide full cooperation to the Queensland Police Service and assist them in their investigations.

"Sikhism is a peaceful religion and action of select few individuals does not reflect the ethics, values, and morals of our wider community," the statement reads. 

The management committee of the Brisbane Sikh temple released this statement.
The management committee of the Brisbane Sikh temple released this statement.
Facebook

Gurtej Singh, the gurudwara priest, told SBS Punjabi that the incident has left him "shocked and disturbed".

"I am very sad to see this happen. Our religion preaches peace and respect. To witness something like this within my community is very disturbing and unacceptable," he said.  

The police were called to the site of the incident on Daw Street in Brisbane's southern suburb around 10.30pm.

"Police immediately rendered tactical first aid to a 36-year-old awaiting the arrival of paramedics. He suffered significant injuries to his hand, neck and head.

"Eight men, including the 36-year-old man, were transported to hospital with varying injuries," QPS said in a statement to the media.

Police have taken eight men, aged between 22 and 38, into custody. They were later released as the investigation continued. 

Acting Superintendent Simon Tayler from QPS
Acting Superintendent Simon Tayler from QPS.
Supplied

Acting Superintendent Simon Tayler from QPS said police are aware of some "simmering tensions" within the Indian community in the area. However, they are still at an early stage in establishing a motive.

"We have been engaging with members of this community, but we don't understand the motives of how it escalated to 40 people behaving like that last night," he said.

He confirmed that the first police responders witnessed "edge weapons" being used during the brawl.

"We know that there were golf clubs, baseball bats, poles - different aspects of weapons," he said.

Acting Superintendent Tayler added that the police are also aware that "some messages" were being exchanged on social media between the two groups.

"We need to really push that message that behaviour whether they're known to each other or not, that is unacceptable, and we take a very strong stance on any potential follow up or retaliation."

He said operation 'Tango Rhubarb' has been set up at Upper Mount Gravatt Police Station, and the police have already liaised with the local community to investigate the incident from all angles. 

Click on the audio button above to listen to full statements of Acting Superintendent Tayler.

A local resident found a pole with what appeared to be blood on it in her yard after the fight.
A local resident found a pole with what appeared to be blood on it in her yard after the fight.
Image was supplied to ABC

A Punjabi family who witnessed the incident described it as "violent and scary". 

"We're very scared and shocked to see this unfold in our neighbourhood. There were around 50 men, some of them carrying baseball bats and wooden sticks. It was very brutal and confronting to see blood spilled on the streets," said Mr Singh*.

Another witness* told SBS Punjabi that he was still recovering from the shock. 

"They were very violent and capable of carrying out dangerous acts. I guess this is one of the reasons why people are shying away from disclosing their identity to the police," he said.

* Witnesses wish to remain anonymous.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting.

Report crime information anonymously via Crime Stoppers. Call 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestoppersqld.com.au.

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