London: A 26-year-old Sikh man has been charged with the attempted murder of a Namdhari Sikh sect leader in the UK city of Leicester.
Harjit Singh Toor, who appeared at Leicester Magistrates` Court on Tuesday, is also charged with making threats in a public place with a weapon during the attack on Namdhari leader Sri Satguru Uday Singh.
"It follows allegations of an assault at the Gurdwara Namdhari Temple on Linden Street, Spinney Hill, Leicester, on Sunday," a Leicestershire police statement said.
No application for bail was made and Toor has been remanded in custody to Leicester Crown Court in the East Midlands region of England for a preliminary hearing later this month.
Toor, a non-Namdhari Sikh, was caught by members of the congregation present at Sunday prayers at the gurdwara.
He was wrapped in a blanket as he moved towards the sect chief with a Gandasa, a traditional Punjabi farming tool, and aimed for the victim`s head.
The victim was able to deflect the attack and suffered injuries to his face and arm.
He was taken to the Royal Infirmary in Leicester and was discharged following stitches to his nose and treatment of a broken wrist.
"He may have been instigated by someone known to the sect," said Ranjit Singh, general secretary of the Gurdwara, in reference to the attacker.
Uday Singh took over as Namdhari sect leader in December last year after the death of Satguru Jagjit Singh.
His selection was opposed by some within the sect, including Uday Singh`s elder brother Dalip Singh.
There is speculation that the attacker may have a link with the controversy surrounding the choice of sect leader.
Uday Singh had travelled to the UK from India to convene a Namdhari Darbar and will soon return to Sri Bhaini Sahib in Ludhiana, the base of the Namdhari movement in India.