Gurudwara shooting: Badal writes to PM



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

Badal, in a letter to the Prime Minister, asked him to talk to the US administration to get the incident investigated throughly to ascertain the truth.

"I have written a detailed letter to the Prime Minister. The US Ambassador to India also called me and I told her about Sikh community's concerns following the shooting incident," the Chief Minister told reporters in Delhi.

"I have asked for a thorough investigation to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in future," said Badal, who is leaving for the US to meet the bereaved families.

"I will share the grief of the bereaved families by visiting them in the US," he said.

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

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

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."

In the letter, he said members of the Sikh community had been living peacefully in various parts of the world, including the US, for centuries.

"The tragic incident in the gurudwara is all the more painful and difficult to understand in the background of the outstanding role played by the peaceful Sikh community in the American success story," the Chief Minister said.

Detailing steps required to be taken for instilling a sense of security among the Sikhs, he said "there are two issues that require effective and pro-active response from the government of India."

"The first, of course, is the immediate task of dealing with the aftermath of Sunday's tragedy.

"Apart from tracking down the culprits and getting to the root of the crime and understanding the dynamics behind it, there is an equally important and urgent need to provide relief to affected families," 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.

In Amritsar, Sikhs from different walks of life met SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar to express concern over the incident.

They requested Makkar to adopt a constructive line of action to extend help to affected Sikhs in US.

Condmening the shooting, Akal Takht head priest Gurbachan Singh said "this is a security lapse on the part of the US government.

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

PTI