India Riots Bust Out After Austria Temple Killing

Punjab erupts in violence after Sikh guru's murder
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2009 7:07 AM CDT
Followers of Guru Ravi Das Sabha, a Dalit, or untouchable, brandish swords, steel rods and bamboo sticks during a protest in Amritsar, India, today.   (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
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(Newser) – Riots have broken out in dozens of cities across the Indian state of Punjab after a Sikh guru was killed in a temple in Austria yesterday. Thousands of protesters have damaged public property and set trains on fire, and in one city four people were injured when police fired on angry demonstrators. The slain guru, who had traveled to Vienna to conduct a service, came from a low-caste sect with a large Punjabi following.

All of Punjab's major highways are blocked and train stations have been abandoned. Manmohan Singh, India's recently reelected prime minister and a Sikh, said he was "deeply distressed by the outbreak of violence," and called for "peace and harmony among different sections of the people."
(Read more India stories.)