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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

US Senate remembers shooting victims

PTI  Washington, August 02, 2013
First Published: 22:37 IST(2/8/2013) | Last Updated: 22:46 IST(2/8/2013)

The US Senate has unanimously passed a resolution remembering the six Sikh worshippers gunned down in a Wisconsin gurdwara by a white supremacist last year, ahead of the tragic incident's first anniversary.

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Condemning the horrific shooting, the resolution, sponsored by Wisconsin senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson, honoured the memory of Suveg Singh Khattra, Satwant Singh Kaleka, Ranjit Singh, Sita Singh, Paramjit Kaur and Parkash Singh.

The six Sikhs were shot dead by Wade Michael Page, a white supremacist, on August 5 last year at the Wisconsin gurdwara in Oak Creek.

Offering condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of those who died in the shooting, the resolution condemned hatred and acts of violence towards racial and religious groups and called for renewed efforts to end that violence.

Standing with those who plan to gather at Oak Creek to memorialise the lives lost in the shooting and to continue healing as a community, the resolution also commends the heroism of the first responders and members of the community who courageously and selflessly placed their lives in danger to prevent the death of more innocent people.

Remembering the anniversary of the tragic shooting on August 5, 2012, the resolution said many Sikhs and the community as a whole selflessly sought to aid and protect others by putting their own safety at risk.

The heroic action of law-enforcement officers such as Sam Lenda prevented additional loss of life, it said.

Other senators who co-sponsored the resolution were Chris Coons, John Cornyn and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Meanwhile, the recently formed Sikh caucus in the House of Representatives announced to introduce a similar resolution.

The resolution would be introduced by Congresswoman Judy Chu and Congressman David G Valadao, co-chairs of the American-Sikh Congressional Caucus, along with other Caucus members and representatives.

"One year after gunfire shattered the peace of the gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, we are reminded of the frailty of life and the power that prejudices hold in our society," Chu said.

US gurdwara panel thanks Caucus members

The American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC) on Thursday expressed grief with bereaved families of the Oak Creek Gurdwara shooting victims on the eve of the first anniversary of the tragedy.

"This is the time for offering prayers for the departed souls and expressing sympathy with the aggrieved families," AGPC president JS Hothi and other committee members said in a statement issued here.

They thanked the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, especially its co-chair Judy Chu and David Valadao, for their untiring efforts to resolve various Sikh issues, mainly concerning the security of gurdwaras in the US.

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