Peace Restored On Pandit Campus Near Vedic City After Morning Incident

By Mark Carlson, Reporter

FAIRFIELD, Iowa - Law enforcement officials and leaders within the pandit community near Fairfield were able to restore peace on the campus after a morning incident on and near the grounds.

According to leaders of the project, an estimated 60 to 70 pandits grew upset when a fellow pandit was being removed from campus for disciplinary issues.

Leaders had planned to send the man home to India, but decided not to after what witnesses described as an "uprising" on the campus.

Jefferson County sheriff's deputies, Fairfield police and the Iowa State patrol all responded to the incident.

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the pandits became increasingly agitated and started throwing rocks at security and sheriff's deputies. The group then surrounded a parked police vehicle and threw rocks, targeting the driver and shattering a back window. The group also tried to break mirrors off the vehicle, kicked out a tail light and were rocking the vehicle, officials said.

"It looked like a Christmas tree, all lit up with lights," one witness said in describing the line of law enforcement on the road leading to the campus, which is just north of Fairfield.

Hundreds of pandits live and practice peace on the grounds. It's a project that's been in the area for nearly a decade.

By mid-morning, law enforcement pulled out of the area and pandit leaders escorted the group back to their property.

Leaders say it's the first time anything like it has happened on campus. No one was hurt in the incident.

It's not clear what will happen to the pandit whose removal caused the outcry.
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