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Gurdwara shooting: Visiting India Sikh guru dies of wounds

An Indian Sikh guru, one of the two visiting religious preachers shot during a violent clash between two groups of the community at a gurdwara in Vienna, succumbed to his injuries midnight last night.

world Updated: May 25, 2009 11:11 IST

An Indian Sikh guru, one of the two visiting religious preachers shot during a violent clash between two groups of the community at a gurdwara in Vienna, succumbed to his injuries midnight last night.

The guru, Sant Rama Nand, 57, who was injured after Sikh followers clashed with knives and a pistol at a gurdwara in Vienna's 15th district on Sunday, in which nearly 30 people were injured, died of his wounds in the hospital, police said.

"The doctor was initially satisfied with the condition of the injured after an emergency operation. However, he lost consciousness and died shortly after midnight," a spokesperson told the media today.

However, the condition of the other visiting guru, 66- year-old Sant Niranjan Dass is said to be stable after doctors performed an emergency operation, he said. The two belonged to the Shri Guru Ravidas Sabha movement.

Some 3,000 Sikhs live in Austria.

Meanwhile, Indian authorities clamped curfew and army called out in Jalandhar after violence erupted and protestors resorted to arson last night in the Punjab town, following the clash in the Austrian capital.

In fact, the fight erupted yesterday following a dispute over the sermon given by one of the two Sikh gurus.
Soon after at least six men, one wielding a gun and the others knives, attacked the preacher as others rushed to his rescue, resulting in a melee.

The police said that two of the offenders, 45-year-old Tarsem Singh and 28-year-old Satwinder Singh, who were injured in the clash, have been discharged from the hospital and are in custody. Four other suspects have also been arrested.

A spokesperson had on Sunday described the scene at the temple like "a battlefield".

About 400 people were at the service when the fight broke out in the temple. Four ambulances and three medical helicopters were pressed into service to transport the victims to hospitals.