India seeks more security for religious places in U.S.
NEW DELHI, Aug 07: India has sought strengthening of security around places of worship in the United States and urged Washington to come out with a strong message of reassurance to the Indian community following the Wisconsin gurdwara shooting that left six dead.
In a telephonic conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday evening, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S.M. Krishna also requested a full and prompt investigation into the killings.
Satisfied with the steps taken by the law enforcing agencies, Mr. Krishna expressed “sincere appreciation for a quick and brave response by local authorities in averting a worse tragedy,” said official sources here who maintained that Ms. Clinton was “receptive” to the EAM’s message and assured assistance.
‘Against U.S. policies’
Earlier, Mr. Krishna told the media that the killings in a place of worship ran counter to the proclaimed policies of the U.S. government and felt the U.S. would have to revisit its liberal gun laws in the light of recent incidents.
“I think they will have to certainly take a comprehensive look at this kind of tendency which certainly is not going to bring credit to the U.S.,” he told the media.
“But we will certainly not interfere in the internal affairs of the U.S. I think it is for them to decide the next course of action,” he added.
The Minister said any attempt by outsiders to interfere in this “very sacred freedom” [worshipping according to one’s preference] has done a “great injustice not only to that country but to the entire people.”
The Minister assured the Sikh community that the government would do “everything that is in our power to ensure that their places of worship are going to be protected at all costs.”
He prefaced his criticism by pointing out that in the U.S., just like in India, everyone is entitled to pursue the religion of choice.
Mr. Krishna took note of the messages of condolence by U.S. President Barack Obama and others who have emphasised that the U.S attached importance to religious freedom and tolerance, respecting and protecting the people of all faiths.
He refused to go into the motives, appreciated the prompt response by the law enforcing agencies and took note of the proactive role by Indian diplomats in the U.S. led by Ambassador Nirupama Rao.
“I think the Federal Bureau of Investigation has swung into action right away. Our Ambassador Nirupama Rao has been in constant touch with State Department and has registered her sense of disturbance and concern over the developments,” he said.