Punjab riots after guru Sant Ramanand murdered

May 25th, 2009 - 4:49 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

Burning Train in Punjab Thousands of angry protesters have taken to the streets damaging public property and setting trains on fire in almost all towns and cities in the Indian state of Punjab after a Sikh guru was killed by a rival group in Austria.

Guru Sant Ramanand was attacked by six men armed with knives and a pistol during clashes at a religious ceremony at a temple on Sunday in Vienna and died from his wounds in hospital early Monday.

Another preacher Sant Nirajnan Das, who was among 15 other people injured, is said to be stable.

Both the preachers were from a low-caste Sikh sect which has a large following in parts of Punjab and had traveled to Vienna to conduct a special service.

At least four people were injured when police opened fire at protesters who attacked a police station in Jalandhar.

In Jalandhar city the army has also marched through the streets and imposed a curfew in four major towns.

The rioting has prompted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to appeal for calm.

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