Foreign Minister Krishna meets families of Wisconsin gurudwara shooting victims

     Expressing condolences and grief on behalf of the people and the Indian Government to the families of those who lost their loved ones and for the residents of Oak Creek and for the Sikh community of the United States, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has said this senseless act of violence is more tragic because it took place in a place of worship which radiates the message of love, devotion and peace.

"I would like to express our profound grief for the families of those who lost their loved ones and for the residents of Oak Creek and for the Sikh community of the United States . On behalf of the Government of India and people of India , I would like to convey our deep sense of pain and grief that we have also gone through after we received news of this shocking incident. I carry the message of sympathy and support from the people of India and the Government of India," said Krishna in his address to the Sikh Community during his visit to the Oak Creek Gurudwara in Milwaukee on Thursday. "This senseless act of violence is more tragic because it took place in a place of worship which radiates the message of love, devotion and peace. People in United States , India and around the world have strongly condemned this barbaric attack. Incidents like this remind us of the challenges that we all face from perverse ideologies," he added.

Krishna, who met the family of victims of Oak Creek Gurudwara shooting, said the United States and India are defined by pluralism, diversity and respect for religious freedom. "People from all parts of the world have found home and enjoy rights and opportunities in the United States . The nearly three million people of Indian origin in the United States , including the Sikh community, form a vibrant part of US society. Their enormous contributions in their professional lives and as members of the community have been widely recognized in India and the United States," said Krishna . "I wish to place on record the deep sense of appreciation from the Government and people of India for the quick and selfless response by local police officers in averting what perhaps could have been a much bigger tragedy. I am taking this opportunity to convey in particular our gratitude for the service of Lieutenant Brian Murphy and wish him speedy and full recovery," he added.

Krishna also thanked Governor Walker of Wisconsin, Mayor and other officials for the emotional support that has been provided to the affected families . "We appreciate the support of the members of U.S. Congress from Wisconsin ," ge added. The Indian External Affairs Minister also lauded President Barack Obama's strong and extraordinary gesture of ordering the U.S. flag to fly at half-mast. "Let me record our deep sense of appreciation and thanks to President Obama's strong and extraordinary gesture of ordering the U.S. flag to fly at half-mast. His message of support and sympathy is a source of reassurance to the affected community. First lady's personal outreach to the families and the community will also add a healing touch at a moment of great anguish and grief," said Krishna.

"President Obama spoke to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Secretary Clinton and I also spoke after the incident," he added. Krishna further said India and the US stand united against those perpetrating a culture of violence and hatred, "We agreed that as two democratic and privileged societies that have always upheld the highest ideals of pluralism, diversity and religious freedom, we must stand together against violence and hate. The world has to be rid of such intolerance because it perpetuates the culture of hate and culture of violence. In this effort all of us should be united," said Krishna . "We are of different nationalities, different religious affiliations, different countries but all of us must unite to condemn and not be intimidated by such senseless violence. On the other hand we will continue to pursue faiths in which we have faith and nobody dare obstruct that culture," he added. Krishna reassured the American Sikh Community that the entire Indian nation and the Government of India and also the United States Government and its people are behind them.

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