Vienna police investigating murder of Sant Rama Nand shot at

June 15th, 2009 - 10:54 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

Austrian police investigating the murder last month of prominent Indian Sikh guru Sant Rama Nand during a gurdwara at a temple in Vienna have been shot at.

Local media reports say two shots from a handgun were fired at officers searching the house of an Austrian citizen of Indian descent.

Anti-terrorism police units quickly managed to subdue the 26-year-old man whose name was given only as Amrit S.

A Vienna police spokesman said Amrit S. had had contact with the six Indian-born suspects who have been detained so far for allegedly participating in the temple attack and police found additional firearms and knives when they searched his house.

On May 24, 54-year-old Ramanand and another preacher, Sant Nirajnan Das, were among 16 people attacked by six men armed with knives and a pistol during clashes at a religious ceremony at a temple in Vienna.

Ramanand, leader of a low-caste Sikh sect, died the next day from his wounds setting of widespread violent protests throughout the Indian Punjab region by members of the Dera Sachh Khand sect, destroying public and private property, burning vehicles and trains, and blocking the Hoshiarpur to Jalandhar highway.

The rioting quickly spread to other Punjab towns with Indian military units marching through the streets in an attempt to restore calm ahead of an indefinite military curfew being imposed on the four towns where the rioting was worst.

At least three people were killed in the riots and dozens more injured.

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