A man was last night in a critical condition in hospital after being stabbed during violence at a Sikh festival in Birmingham.
The 44-year-old man was stabbed three times in the chest in Handsworth Park during the Vaisakhi event, held as part of the Sikh new year celebrations on Sunday.
The park, where hundreds of Sikhs had been expected to join a parade from Smethwick High Street, was closed for several hours while police investigated the trouble.
Six other people suffered significant injuries, including head injuries and cuts, and were taken to hospitals in the city by ambulance. Two others were treated by St John Ambulance.
A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said the event featured two parades from Smethwick to Handsworth and Lozells to Handsworth, which went ahead with no violence but officers were called after a number of incidents, including the stabbing.
She said: "On Sunday, Vaisakhi celebrations took place in Handsworth, Birmingham.
"As part of the celebrations, there were two processions, one from Smethwick to Handsworth and the other from Lozells to Handsworth. These passed off with no problems.
"There was also an event in Handsworth Park during the afternoon of Sunday.
"During this celebration, there was sporadic disorder resulting in five people being arrested for various offences.
"These included affray, offensive weapons, drug offences, actual bodily harm, assault and other public offences. All five have been bailed pending further inquiries.
"At approximately 3.30pm, there was a large-scale disorder reported near to the cricket pitch away from the main event area.
"During this disorder, a 44-year-old man was stabbed three times in the chest area. He was taken to hospital where he remains in a critical but stable condition.
"Four people were arrested in connection with this wounding. They remain in police custody. Inquiries continue."
Although the force were unable to name the victim, he was last night rumoured to be a former president of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick.
A friend of the injured man, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "There were two groups walking along in the park and they were challenging each other and one of them started fighting.
"He tried to stop the fighting and all of a sudden, he was stabbed.
Last night, Malkit Singh Johal, the gurdwara's current president, said he could not confirm the identity of the man.
He said: "I was not there when it happened, I was away from the area. I have not been given much information about the incident so it is difficult for me to comment at this stage."
In total, nine ambulances, four paramedics, a rapid response car and a rapid response doctor were needed to deal with the aftermath of the violence.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said the incident proved difficult for the crews but they were able to provide care for a number of individuals.
He added the service were disappointed that one of the ambulances called to the scene had its rear lights damaged.
"There is no doubt that this was a difficult incident for all of the crews, but they did an excellent job providing care to a range of injuries ranging from minor to severe," he said.
"We would like to pay credit to a number of police officers who came across a man with an arterial bleed and who had lost a large quantity of blood."