Gurdwara shooting: Badal writes to PM

Parkash Singh Badal asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up the issue with the Obama administration regarding safety and security of Sikhs living in America.

Chandigarh: In the wake of the shooting incident at a gurdwara in the US, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up with the Obama administration the issue of safety and security of Sikhs living in America.

Badal also called for a comprehensive administrative and social campaign to eliminate the possibility of recurrence of such tragic incidents.

Deputy Chief Minister and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal asked the External Affairs ministry to widen its diplomatic response to cover other nations where the Sikhs were residing and contributing in a significant way to their progress.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister said "there is a growing feeling in the minds of Punjabis in general and Sikhs in particular that the Union government must get more actively and vigorously involved in getting the US administration address the issue of safety in right earnest."

"There is also a strong feeling among the Sikh masses about the need for a comprehensive awareness campaign by the US government about the identity and the highly constructive role of the Sikh community in that country," he said.

"Such an initiative should have been taken immediately after violent attacks against members of the Sikh community in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately, no steps in this direction seem to have been taken," the Chief Minister said.

Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh condemned the shooting incident and hoped the US government would punish the guilty at the earliest.

The SGPC, apex religious body of the Sikhs, described the shooting as a condemnable criminal act and urged the Prime Minister to take up with authorities the issue of saftey of the minority community.

A gunman opened fire inside a gurudwara in Wisconsin in the US yesterday killing six people.