World Austrian Jury Mulls Verdicts For Indian Temple Attack


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Austrian jury mulls verdicts for Indian temple attack

Vienna, Sep 27 (DPA) A Vienna court jury Monday started deliberating verdicts for six Sikh men who allegedly were involved in the killing of the deputy head of an Indian sect in an attack on a temple last year in Austria's capital, media reported.

The court was expected to issue the verdicts and sentences for the Indian-born defendants in the evening.

The May 2009 attack, which also left the leader of the Dera Sach Khand sect and a dozen others injured, triggered widespread violence in India's northern state of Punjab, leaving three people dead and dozens hurt.

The fundamentalist Sikh defendants made clear during the trial that they disapproved of the related - but more liberal - Dera Sach Khand group, because its followers venerate religious leaders in addition to Sikh holy scripture.

The main suspect, 36-year-old Jaspal Singh, stands accused of shooting to death the deputy, Sant Rama Nand, and having attempted to kill sect leader Niranjan Dass and a local preacher. Nand and Dass were visiting the Vienna temple on a tour of Europe.

Singh claims he does not remember anything after receiving severe blows to the head by sect members during the incident.

The prosecutor bemoaned Monday that the five others suffer from 'collective amnesia', the Austrian press agency APA reported. They are charged with several counts, including aiding Singh and attacking sect followers with daggers.

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