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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

Connecticut tragedy: Canadian gurdwara holds vigil for victims

Vancouver Desi  Vancouver, December 16, 2012
First Published: 18:51 IST(16/12/2012) | Last Updated: 19:01 IST(16/12/2012)

A vigil was held at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey on Friday night to pray for the victims and families of the Connecticut school shooting that left 28 people dead, including 20 children.

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The Sikh community welcomed all British Columbians - regardless of faith or background.

"It's just community solidarity to show our support and prayers," said gurdwara director Sukhminder Virk. "When there's a tragedy, we're all impacted by this, regardless of cast, creed or religion."

The Sikh community is still recovering from their own tragedy when a lone gunman stormed a temple in Wisconsin in August and open fired, killing six people and critically wounding three others.

"Even the Wisconsin shooting - it wasn't necessarily just the Sikhs that were attacked - it was human beings," said Virk. "This is kind of in the same vein."

Friday morning's rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, affects the Sikh community the same way it affects the rest of the world, said Virk.

"It's not just us, or Sikhs that are affected, but it's all human beings," he said. "If there's a tragedy anywhere obviously the community responds. This is something we need to do, to understand what's causing (this)."

According to the Associated Press, Friday morning's killer carried two hand guns, opened fired in two classrooms and then committed suicide. Another person was found dead at a second scene. The news agency identified the shooter as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, also known to be a teacher's son.

The rampage marked the US' second deadliest school shooting, only exceeded by the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre that left 33 people dead.

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