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A disagreement over leadership after a Greenwood temple election on Sunday afternoon turned into a big fight that injured multiple people.
Shortly before 3 p.m. Several police agencies were called to the Gurdwara Sikh Temple in the 1000 block of South Graham Road in a report of a major riot with weapons, dispatchers said.
The mayor of Greenwood, Mark Meyers, initially told other media that several people were stabbed. At night, the number of injured people seemed to be lower and the injuries much less severe. Meyers told IndyStar that he had not been updated by the police but that he had listened to others about the violence.
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Dispatchers said reports indicated that more than 100 people participated in the fight and that at least three or four people suffered minor injuries.
It was not clear if weapons were recovered from the scene.
Temple member Gurpreet Sing said there were no weapons involved and that, to his knowledge, most of the injuries were "bruises and minor cuts".
Greenwood Police Department Assistant Chief Matt Fillenwarth did not respond to IndyStar calls for comment.
Every two years, the temple, which functions as a non-profit organization, elects a new executive committee, Sing said. But he said there were clashes within the membership for years about how the temple should be run.
Those differences intensified on Sunday when leaders counted donations after the afternoon service and were ordered to hand over the money to the newly elected. committee, said Sing. He said some members threatened the president and tried to get him out of the building.
"It was chaos," he said. "It reached a completely new level"
Witnesses outside the temple told IndyStar that those in power did not want to resign.
Sing, who was a member of the executive committee for two years, said it was not true and tensions began because his committee began to make changes such as preaching more and "getting children involved." He said the fight really started with "four or five people."
The Greenwood and Johnson County authorities continued to investigate Sunday afternoon.
Call IndyStar reporter Justin L. Mack at (317) 444-6138. Follow him on Twitter: @justinlmack. Call IndyStar reporter Emma Kate Fittes at (317) 513-7854.
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