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US police links gurudwara shooting with 2011 Sikhs killing in California

Press Trust of India
Aug 18, 2012 at 12:36pm IST

Washington: US police are looking into the possibility of a link between the Wisconsin Gurdwara killings with the slaying of two elderly Sikhs in California in 2011.

A white supremacist, Wade Michael Page, went on a shooting rampage inside a Gurdwara in Oak Creek city of Wisconsin killing six people on August 5.

Detective Kevin Papineau of Elk Grove Police Department in California says that he is working with the FBI in Wisconsin to see if there is any possible links between the Oak Creek shooting and the Elk Grove incident in which two elderly Sikh men were killed; which many in the Sikh community say was a hate crime.

Gurudwara attack linked to 2011 California killing?

Two elderly Sikh men were killed in California in 2011, which many in the Sikh community say was a hate crime.

"Given the fact they're Sikh, there's that possibility. I've been in contact with FBI agents to try to rule in or rule out any possible connection.

They're looking into it and we haven't made any progress toward ruling it in or out yet," detective Papineau told the ABC news on Friday.

Attired in traditional dress Surinder Singh, 65, and Gurmej Atwal, 78, were on an evening walk in a Elk Grove neighborhood when they were suddenly attacked and gunned down on March 4, 2011. The police has not been able to solve the murder mystery.

"It's unsolved. It's active, although the leads and tips to follow up on are kind of starting to run out. We're kind of stumped by it," Papineau said.

In an earlier interview to the local daily Sacramento Bee, Papineau said that it (Wisconsin shooting) might provide a break.

"I hope it produces the break we need. There's a good possibility we haven't yet reached the witnesses who know what we need to put it together," Papineau said.

The police and local community have announced an award for information leading to the arrest of those who were involved in this alleged hate crime. The reward has now climbed to USD 57,301, the daily said.

However, Oak Creek police do not tend to agree with their counterparts in Elk Grove.

"From what I know of the situation I find it very unlikely. They may be trying to connect it, but I don't think there's anything there," the Oak Creek Police chief John Edwards told ABC.

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