Prayers offered at Golden Temple in memory of Sikhs killed in Wisconsin shootout

Last Updated: Fri, Aug 10, 2012 16:10 hrs

Devout Sikhs led by the members of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) participated in special memorial prayers at the Golden Temple here on Friday.

The occasion was to pray for Sikhs killed during a shootout at a gurdwara in Wisconsin, USA, five days ago.

Among those who offered prayers was Chadathorn Berry, an American diplomat headquartered in New Delhi.

As part of the prayers, the congregation recited hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib.

In a shocking incident, a gunman identified as Wade Michael Page fatally shot six innocent Sikhs and critically wounded three others at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin during Sunday services on August 5 before police shot him dead.

The president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex body of Sikhs, Avtar Singh Makkar, said: "I believe that American government under the presidentship of Barack Obama took prompt actions. They controlled the entire situation since in America, Sikhs had certain apprehensions in mind and the government tried to console them."

Berry, who is the First Secretary at the Embassy of the United States in New Delhi, said: "Well, I conveyed the Ambassador remarks and condolences and our condolences to the congregation here and to the entire Sikh Community."

Meanwhile, in the US, police are still trying to determine the motive of the shooter, 40-year-old Page, who had links to racist groups.

There are an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 families of the Sikh religion in the Milwaukee area and two temples.

The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, where the attack took place on Sunday, was founded in October 1997 with a community of 20 to 25 families, according to its website.

It has 350 to 400 people in its congregation and has grown rapidly. (ANI)

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