US sleuth links gurdwara shooting with Sikh murders

August 18th, 2012 - 11:30 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 18 (IANS) A detective in California is raising the possibility that the murders of two Sikh men there last year may be connected to the tragic shooting at a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

“Given the fact they’re Sikh, there’s that possibility,” Detective Kevin Papineau of the Elk Grove Police Department, who has been investigating the California murders on March 4, 2011, told ABC News Friday.

Surinder Singh and Gurmej Atwal routinely walked around their neighbourhood, but on their stroll that day they were suddenly gunned down. Singh died at the scene. Atwal managed to hang on for six weeks in a hospital before passing away.

After white supremacist gunman Wade Michael Page killed six Sikh worshippers in the Oak Creek temple Aug 5, Papineau decided to alert the FBI about the possibility that the two incidents might be connected, according to ABC News.

“I’ve been in contact with FBI agents to try to rule in or rule out any possible connection. They’re looking into it and we haven’t made any progress toward ruling it in or out yet,” he was quoted as saying.

Authorities in Oak Creek, however, do not believe that there is any connection between the two incidents.

“From what I know of the situation I find it very unlikely,” Oak Creek Police chief John Edwards told ABC. “They may be trying to connect it, but I don’t think there’s anything there.”

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