Hundreds gather for Sikh temple shooting memorial

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Mourners were expected to later return to the temple where priests would read the Sikh holy book from cover to cover in a traditional rite honoring the dead called “Akhand Path.” That process takes 48 hours.

“We want to pay homage to the spirits who are still in there,” said Harpreet Singh, a nephew of one of the victims.

The FBI roped off the temple for four days while agents conducted their investigation. They handed the keys back to Sikh leaders Thursday morning, allowing worshippers to replace blood-stained carpets and apply fresh paint to some walls. One bullet hole in a door jamb leading to the main prayer hall was left unrepaired as a memorial to the shooting victims.

Kuldeep Chahal, 35, a Sikh teacher, drove for 12 hours to attend the ceremony Friday and show support for the community. Chahal brought banners and cards that members of his temple in Toronto, Canada, had signed for families of the victims.

The officer who was injured, Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy, was upgraded Thursday to satisfactory condition.

Aside from Kaleka, the dead included:

• Ranjit Singh, 49, and his 41-year-old brother, Sita Singh, two priests whose families were back in India and whose lives in America revolved around their faith;

• Suveg Singh Khattra, 84, a former farmer in India who was a constant presence at the temple;

• Prakash Singh, 39, a priest who was remembered as a fun-loving personality who enjoyed telling jokes; and

• Paramjit Kaur, 41 who worked 66 hours a week to provide for her family, but also found time to pray every day for at least an hour.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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