Friday, March 10, 2023

An Indian-American has been arrested for plotting to burn down a gurdwara in California


Indian-American booked for plotting to burn down gurdwara in California

US) BAKERSFIELD: According to, gurdawara Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji Khalsa Darbar, one of the largest Gurdawaras in the area, Rajvir "Raj" Singh Gill, 60, was arrested last weekend on suspicion of attempting to hire goons to burn down and carry out a shooting spree.

According to the Bakersfield, Kern County, California, police, Gill was taken into custody on Saturday on six counts of solicitation to commit a criminal act. He was under a temporary restraining order not to harass the gurdwara members. However, Gill has since been released from jail, according to the records.

In the November election for Ward 7, Gill had received less than seven percent of the vote. Sukhwinder Singh Ranghi, an elder at the gurdwara, claims that Gill has been showing up at the property recently, ca

rrying a gun, disrupting prayers and threatening members of the congregation before being arrested at one point. Before Saturday, there were no records of his arrest.

According to Ranghi, reported that a dispute over over USD 800,000 contributed by congregation members that was supposed to reimburse a corporate entity established to buy the gurdwara out of foreclosure in July 2020 was the cause of the numerous confrontations.

Through a translator, Ranghi stated, "It's the greed that most likely got to him." was unable to obtain a response from Gill.

City councilwoman Manpreet Kaur, who won the election last fall, claimed that she was aware of the restraining order against Gill but was unaware of the specifics of the conflict. She described the charges against him as beyond comprehension.

"It really breaks my heart. It is. She was quoted by as saying, "I'm just hoping the community stays safe." A spokesman for the Bakersfield Police Department declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding Gill's actions. The officer did not go into detail about the case.

Ranghi, a senior Sikh, claims that Gill offered USD 10,000 to two Hispanic men to kill Ranghi and other congregational leaders involved in the court cases. He claimed that Gill pointed out the homes of the temple leaders he wanted to kill as he drove the men through the city. According to, an associate of the intended assailants provided temple leadership with this information.

Ranghi asserted that Gill had instructed the men on how to exploit the temple's faulty electrical wiring, which had been installed by his own workers more than a decade earlier.

Ranghi showed a portion of a video that, according to him, showed Gill unplugging microphones that were still in use at the temple during a religious service.

With over 500 members, Gurudawara Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji Khalsa Darbar is one of Bakersfield's most popular gathering places. Thousands of people attend its annual celebration at the end of October.

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