News / USA

US Reassures India About Protecting Sikh Community

Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna delivers a speech, July 8, 2012Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna delivers a speech, July 8, 2012
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Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna delivers a speech, July 8, 2012
Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna delivers a speech, July 8, 2012
VOA News
Wade Michael Page Bio

  • 40-year-old Army veteran
  • Served as a Hawk missile system repairman, psychological operations specialist
  • Discharged in 1998 after pattern of misconduct, including being drunk on duty
  • Played in white supremacist heavy metal bands
  • Described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "a frustrated neo-Nazi"
India's foreign minister says he has received U.S. assurances of the Indian community's safety, following the killing of six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

S.M. Krishna told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday that he urged the full protection of all places of worship in the United States during a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton late Monday.

The foreign minister said Clinton, who is on a visit to South Africa, assured him that the Indian community's interests are "going to be quite safe under the present administration."  Krishna said the secretary of state was "as disturbed as any one of us is in India."

Authorities say a gunman Sunday killed five men and one woman at the temple near the city of Milwaukee, before he was shot dead by police.

Officials have identified the gunman as 40-year-old Wade Michael Page. They say he served in the U.S. Army for about six years in the 1990s before being discharged for misconduct.

U.S. officials say they are investigating possible ties between Page and white supremacist groups and that the shooting is being probed as an act of domestic terrorism.

A U.S. group that monitors extremists - the Southern Poverty Law Center - says Page was a member of a white supremacist band called End Apathy.

Sikhs, who wear turbans and beards, have been mistaken in the United States for Muslims and sometimes targeted for hate crimes, including a Sikh who was killed in the state of Arizona four days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

President Barack Obama said "soul searching" is needed about how to reduce violence in America. He said Americans would "recoil" in shock if it turned out the shooter was motivated by ethnic hatred.

The president ordered flags at federal buildings to be flown at half-staff through Friday.

  • Mourners at the funeral and memorial service for the six Sikh worshippers killed at their temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, August 10, 2012.
  • Sikh temple members bring in a casket for the funeral and memorial service for the six victims of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin mass shooting, August 10, 2012.
  • Mourners at the funeral and memorial service for the six Sikh worshippers killed at their temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, August 10, 2012.
  • Worshipers in the Sikh community gather for a candle light vigil at the Sikh Religious Society in Brookfield, Wisconsin, August 6, 2012.
  • Mohan Singh Khatra (R), who lost his uncle Subeg Singh Khatra in the shootings, speaks to the media outside the Sikh Cultural Society in Queens, New York, August 6, 2012.
  • Indian Sikhs protest in New Delhi against Sunday's shooting in the U.S. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday that he was shocked and saddened by the attack.
  • Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is fitted with a head covering as he prepares to worship at the Sikh Religious Society, August 6, 2012.
  • A candle light vigil was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the victims, August 5, 2012.
  • Indian Sikh men in Jammu protest against the deadly shooting, August 6, 2012.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, himself a Sikh, said he was shocked and saddened by the assault, calling it a "dastardly attack."  India is home to a majority of the world's Sikhs.

Investigators said three others were hospitalized in critical condition, including a policeman who was shot eight or nine times before a second policeman killed Page.

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded more than 500 years ago in the Punjab district of what is now India and Pakistan.  

Authorities say the worldwide population of Sikhs is 20 million, with 400,000 to 1 million Sikhs in the U.S.

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Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 08, 2012 2:20 PM
US has not been able to protect itself against these shooting, so that promise is not realistic. After the Wisconsin shooting, the economy remains low and joblessness persists, or even grows if marginally to 8.3%. Not a good figure. The emerging economies are taking the shine off USA and everything points to declining productivity. If the present trend continues, you'll soon lose count of number of such incidents in the nearest future. Not my wish. The solution is to aggressively find market for the teeming population of the unemployed; forget about quality in production and employ decay technology as China has used it to dominate markets at home and abroad. Return USA to its former pride by giving God His pride of place as the founding fathers of USA saw pertinent. For there is salvation nowhere else but in the exalted name of the ONLY Son of God.

by: Passive Voices from: Islamabad
August 07, 2012 2:37 PM
The gory incident of Wisconsin massacre has raised the issue of safety of religious minorities in the land of opportunities, equality and civil liberties. When the news broke, everyone was in shock waiting for the Right-wing media to start blaming the Muslims. Mercifully, the attacker was killed in the shoot-out and his identity was revealed. He was a white extremist like the Oslo Butcher apparently misguided by “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam.” He had the hatred against Muslims driving his fury. The Sikhs became his victims mistakenly because they look and dress like Osama bin Laden. Read more at: https://passivevoices.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/real-target-of-the-butcher-of-wisconsin-was-not-the-sikh-community/

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