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Vienna gurudwara clash triggers tension in Punjab

National,Religion, Mon, 25 May 2009 IANS

Jalandhar, May 24 (IANS) A clash between two groups in a gurudwara in Austrian capital Vienna in which 11 people were injured Sunday triggered tension in Punjab, with curfew being imposed in parts of this industrial town and several vehicles being torched here and elsewhere. Security was heightened in several parts of the state.


The Punjab Police was out in substantial numbers here and in Phagwara and Nakodar towns after some members of a Sikh sect took to the streets protesting against the Vienna incident. Trouble was brewing in these places late Sunday evening, police officials on the spot said.



A few vehicles were also damaged in stone pelting as members of the Guru Ravi Dass Sabha protested the Vienna incident.



'I am in a very serious situation. I cannot say anything at this point,' Jalandhar range Inspector General Sanjiv Kalra told IANS. No other police official was reachable on phone.



Protestors were out on the streets in Jalandhar and blocked traffic on several roads, including National Highway (NH) No. 1 that passes through Jalandhar. The police had to direct traffic through alternative and village roads.



In Vienna, at least 11 people were wounded, many severely, in an armed attack involving rival Sikh groups in a gurudwara Sunday morning. The incident took place during a sermon by two guest gurus from India.



According to reports, several bearded and turbaned men equipped with at least one firearm stormed the shrine during sermon.



During the melee, members of the congregation pounced upon the attackers and overpowered them, beating some severely.


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