A row over the Sikh holy book sparked demonstrations involving hundreds outside a Wolverhampton temple, it emerged yesterday.
About 500 Sikh worshippers from West Midlands and London protested about practices at the Ek Niwas temple in Dudley Road, Blakenhall, on Sunday.
Sikhs from the nearby Sedgley Street temple, the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, were unhappy other faiths were encouraged to worship at Ek Niwas and claimed their holy book was not being treated with respect.
At one point, missiles were thrown. About 150 police officers attended but no arrests were made.
"Anybody can keep the Sikh holy book but you have to give it full respect," said Satinder Singh, spokesman for Guru Nanak Gurdwara.
"For us the Guru Granth Sahib is a living teacher. Out of all the faiths this is unique. It has to be kept in a separate room and opened up in the morning and closed at bedtime. A lot of people keep it on its own bed.
"We feel it is being used at Ek Niwas as a marketing gimmick, as part of this 'we have a religion for everybody' idea, and we found that offensive."
In July this year, Ek Niwas leader Babaji Darlochan Singh agreed to get rid of their holy books, but Sikh worshippers at the Sedgley Street temple were dismayed to learn that a section of the Guru Granth Sahib had been re-purchased.
The protest, which saw stones being thrown, ended when the temple handed back the scriptures.
Babaji Darlochan Singh said he set up a temple on Dudley Road, Wolverhampton, 16 years ago before establishing the Ek Niwas centre in 1996.
He calls the temple "One home for everybody" and said he established a multi-faith centre because he wanted to "stop fighting between different religions". He claims that up to 3,000 people worship at the temple, including devotees from the USA, Canada and India.
"It was disgusting what happened on Sunday night. We are a peaceful people. We do not want any sort of trouble but people just turned up outside our door and attacked us," he said. "We aim to settle disputes between religions and end fighting."
He said they had taken their original holy book back to India. "We showed the local Sikhs that we had done this but they did not believe us.
"We bought a little book from the Soho Road for #20 and put it in the temple. It is not a holy book, but the people who were demonstrating seem to think we have one.
"We have had meetings about this with the local community and the police, but it won't go away."
Mohan Singh, general secretary of the Council of Sikh Gurdwara in Birmingham, said the dispute had been rumbling for years and mainly involved the younger Sikhs.
"They have got together and done this because they have been knocking on the doors of the elders to do something for four or five years – and they have done nothing.
"We thought we had this resolved this year when we were told the scriptures were removed back to India.
"The community accepted that, but they got another book and put it in the centre. That is what caused the uproar.
"There have been many meetings and the organisation has been very stubborn."
He added that it was not right to keep the holy book in surroundings used for drinking alcohol, eating meat and playing music.
"We have an issue with people taking the book to weddings, because a Sikh temple, where the scriptures are supposed to be kept, is clean and has all the hygienic sensitivities."