Washington: The Wisconsin gurdwara that was the centre of a tragic shootout has been thrown open for the public again, five days after six worshippers were killed on its premises, shocking the small but closely-knit Sikh community in Oak Creek.
The local police handed over the Oak Creek gurdwara to its management which immediately started the cleaning of the entire premises yesterday.
“It is now open for the public,” Jagajit Singh Sandhu, member of the temple committee said. “We expect the cleaning to be over soon, but it is open for the public now,” Singh said.
Built in 1997 to meet the needs of the local Sikh community, the gurdwara was the scene of tragic bloodshed on Sunday when a former American soldier, believed to have white supremacist leanings, opended indiscriminate fire insides the premises.
The gunman identified as Wade Michael Page, 41, killed six Sikh worshippers before perhaps turning the gun on himself.
The FBI said Page died of self-inflicted injuries, though the motive behind his actions was not clear yet. Following the incident, the FBI and the local police took over the entire premises of the temple for investigation.
During his meeting with the Indian Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, Oak Creek Mayor, Steve Scaffidi, informed her of the steps he would take for the security of the gurdwara.
Four of the six dead in the rampage were Indian nationals. The temple management has announced that it would hold “wake and visitation” at a city high school, which is expected to be attended by thousands of people, including Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal.
The Sikh temple also urged people to consider sending donations to the gurdwara instead of flowers as the management has created a memorial fund for those who were killed in the incident.