India to US, beef up security at religious places Print
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JPNN|New Delhi |Against the backdrop of the shooting at a Wisconsin gurudwara that left seven people dead, India has sought an assurance from the US over the safety of the Indian community there and pressed for additional security at religious places. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who had a telephonic conversation with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last night Tuesday. said he conveyed to her that the Sikhs in the US should be reassured that such "heinous crimes" will not be repeated."We have conveyed our anguish and disturbed feelings to the US. Sikhs in the US have played a very significant and useful role. They needed to be reassured that such heinous crimes will not take place again and that religious places will be given additional protection. "These were some of the issues that I was able to put across to Secretary Clinton when she called me from South Africa last night," he said.Krishna was talking to reporters after receiving a delegation from the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee headed by its chief Avtar Singh Makkar. He said Clinton told him that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is conducting a thorough probe and is going into the motives regarding the incident.


"She agreed with our view points and she is fully in line with Indian thinking that it is a heinous crime," he said. Asked whether the incident was the result of the "gun culture" in the US and whether time has come to put an end to it, he said: "We cannot step into the internal affairs of a country. We can just convey our anguish and disturbed feelings."On August 5, six persons were killed and three critically injured when a gunman opened fire inside a gurudwara in Wisconsin. The gunman was shot and killed by a police officer. Krishna also said India deeply condoles the incident and conveys its sadness to family members of the victims.

Makkar told the External Affairs Minister that this was not the first time that the Sikh community was being targeted in the US. "Earlier, after 9/11 also we had the problem. Sikhs were targeted. This time our worship place has been targeted. This is the first time such an incident has taken place. The confidence of every Sikh in the world has been shattered due to the incident," he told the Minister.

He said Sikhs don't pray just for themselves but for the entire mankind and contended that targeting a worship place of such people was not acceptable. "India should ask the US Government to take steps to reassure Sikhs and restore their confidence," he said.In the morning, Krishna said that "an assurance to the Indian community has to come out from the Obama administration that their interests are going to be safe."The Minister said he also suggested to Clinton that the places of worship in the US cutting across religious denominations must be given full protection.

"On both accounts, I found Secretary Clinton more than willing to do it. And she is as disturbed as anyone of us in India," he said. Krishna said FBI has already swung into action and Clinton is waiting for the preliminary report. "Once they are in possession of the report, they will convey it to the Government of India," he said. Indian Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao is also in touch with the White House and the State Department, he said. Agency

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