India to bring culprits of Vienna violence to justice: Krishna

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New Delhi, May 25 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S. M.Krishna on Monday said the Indian Government would take all necessary steps to bring the culprits of the Vienna violence to justice.

In a statement issued in response to questions on the attack in a gurudwara in Vienna, Austria, Krishna said: "Since it was first reported, my ministry has been carefully monitoring developments following the attack in the gurudwara yesterday afternoon (local time) in Vienna. Our Cd'A ad interim in Vienna has been in regular contact with the ministry.

At the very outset, I would like to convey my deep condolences at the unfortunate passing away of Sant Rama Nand who had been seriously injured in the attack and succumbed to injuries around midnight local time. Our Mission in Vienna will make necessary arrangements to enable his body to be brought back home.

The attack in the Gurudwara in Vienna is a matter of deep concern and regret, especially since many people have been injured and Sant Rama Nand has lost his life. There is no place for violence in a secular society like India's and certainly no excuse whatsoever for the violation of the sacred premises of a gurudwara for narrow sectarian or other purposes.

Our embassy in Vienna is in close contact with the Austrian Foreign Office, the Viennese police and the Austrian authorities. We are receiving the cooperation of the Austrian authorities and are determined to ensure that the perpetrators of this completely mindless and wanton attack are brought to justice.

My Ministry is continuing to monitor developments and necessary follow up action will be taken."

Violence flared up across Punjab yesterday and on Monday when news of clashes between two different Sikh groups in a gurudwara in the Austrian capital filtered in.

The violence in Vienna occurred soon after the second in command of the Dera Saccha Khand Baland (a Sikh school of thought), Sant Ramanand and Sant Niranjan Dass were invited to deliver a sermon at the gurudwara. They were allegedly assaulted by at least six followers of the gurudwara with knives and guns.

Over 20 people were injured in the attack.Sant Ramanand, 57, later succumbed to injuries in a hospital.The condition of Sant Niranjan Dass, 68, was described as stable after undergoing emergency surgery.

Expressing sorrow over the killing of Ramanand, Krishna said: "There is no excuse whatever for the violation of sacred premises of the gurudwara to sub serve narrow sectarian interests and other purposes." By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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