Describing the Wisconsin gurdwara shooting that claimed six lives as "very shocking", Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has appealed to the Sikhs in the US to keep peace and harmony, as he met the victims' families and visited the injured.
Badal, who is on a private visit to the US along with several of his cabinet colleagues, reached Milwaukee area in Wisconsin state on Wednesday and met the victims' families. He is also expected to attend the visitation for the victims on Friday, which will take place from 9 am to 11 am local time at the Oak Creek High School. "I came here for a wedding; I never expected such a thing," Badal told the local Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
When the shooting incident occurred on Sunday, Badal said, he was in Delhi. He arrived in the Milwaukee area late Tuesday and visited Froedtert Hospital, where three of those wounded in the attack are in critical condition. "I went to share their grief," he was quoted as saying. "Everyone wants to know why did this happen? That is the main question mark. And this type of incident should not happen again," he told the daily.
Earlier, on his arrival at the Chicago airport, Badal urged the members of the Sikh community in the US to keep "peace and harmony" despite the tragic incident, the worst for a small but strong community in the US. "Everybody is worried. We never expected such a thing would happen in the US," Badal was quoted as saying by The Chicago Tribune.
In a statement issued by his office in Chandigarh, Badal appreciated the exemplary courage shown by the US policeman who got injured but saved several lives. He assured that the Punjab government would extend all possible help along with other logistic support to the relatives of the victims.