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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Congressional resolution honours victims of Wisconsin shootout

PTI  Washington, August 01, 2014
First Published: 23:36 IST(1/8/2014) | Last Updated: 23:41 IST(1/8/2014)

A bipartisan Congressional resolution introduced on the second anniversary of Oak Creek Gurdwara shooting that killed six people has condemned the murderous attack and honours the memory of its victims.

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California Democrat Congressman John Garamendi, a co-chair of the Congressional American Sikh Caucus, introduced the resolution, which offers heartfelt condolences to those directly affected by the shootout that took place on August 5, 2012.

The resolution also condemns intolerance, applauds the bravery of first responders and calls for continued vigilance against violence.

“Two years ago, a bigoted terrorist murdered six innocent Americans and forever altered the lives of their families, friends and loved ones. We must stamp out this hate from all corners of our nation,” Garamendi said.

“We must also remember and promote the remarkable love that has shone through the darkness of that day: the Oak Creek Temple congregants who prepared langar regardless of their background, the valour of Sikhs and non-Sikhs in fending off the attacker.

“The candle-light vigils held in honour of the victims and to stand in solidarity with the Sikh community, the increased effort of law-enforcement and other groups to combat hate crimes and promote a more tolerant and peaceful society,” he said.

The resolution is co-sponsored by 32 Congressmen, including Judy Chu, David Valadao and Patrick Meehan. Honouring the memory of Suveg Singh Khattra, Satwant Singh Kaleka, Ranjit Singh, Sita Singh, Prakash Singh and the only woman killed in the attack Paramjit Kaur, the resolution also offers heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims.

“The August 5, 2012, shooting was not just a Sikh tragedy, but an American tragedy,” says the resolution, which has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The bipartisan Caucus educates members of Congress about American Sikhs’ issues and supports the community in Congress. Noting that the shooting was one of the most lethal attacks on a worship place in the US since the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church - another example of violence and intolerance against Sikhs - the resolution strongly condemns the horrific Wisconsin gurdwara attack.

Applauding the bravery of Lieutenant Brian Murphy and other first responders who treated the injured and prevented the gunman from taking more lives, the resolution condemns intolerance, including religious and racial discrimination.

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