India awaiting outcome of Vienna violence probe


New Delhi : A week after clashes involving rival Sikh groups in a Vienna gurdwara, India Monday said it was awaiting the outcome of the probe by the Austrian authorities who had assured their “full cooperation and assistance to bring the guilty to justice.”

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“The matter was under investigation by the Austrian authorities and results of their investigations were awaited,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told a delegation of political leaders who were visiting him in connection with the violence in a Vienna gurdwara that left a Sikh leader dead.

Conveying their anguish at the clashes in Vienna, the delegation presented a memorandum to Krishna. Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur was also present at the meeting.

Underscoring his “deep concern and regret” at the incident, Krishna reiterated that there was no place for violence in a secular society like India.

Krishna assured that the Indian embassy was proactively maintaining close contact with the Austrian foreign office, the Viennese police and other concerned Austrian authorities, the external affairs ministry said in a statement here.

He also told them about the assurance given by Austrian foreign minister during their telephonic conversation May 25 that Austria will provide him full cooperation and assistance to bring the guilty to justice.

The minister informed the delegation that the condition of Dera Sachkhand chief Sant Niranjan Dass, who was injured in the clashes, was “stable and was improving.”

More than six people have been arrested for their suspected role in the clash in Vienna that led to the death of Sikh sect leader Sant Ramanand Dass and injured at least 15 people and sparked widespread violence in India’s Punjab state.

The body of the deceased Sikh leader is likely be flown to India next week.