The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD-Delhi), which controls the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), has appealed to all Sikh organisations, including political parties and individuals, to refrain from any form of protests outside the US Embassy in Delhi or any other place against the armed attack by a former US army soldier at a gurdwara of Wisconsin in Oak Creek near Milwaukee.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, SAD (Delhi) general secretary and former DSGMC president Harvinder Singh Sarna said such protests were uncalled for as the US administration and President Barack Obama had condemned the incident and had assured the Sikh community of justice. These forms of protests only tended to tarnish the image of a country that had always stood by the members of the Sikh community.
"We must not forget the manner in which the police acted swiftly to bring the situation under control. One brave police officer risked his life to save many devotees and suffered injuries. An entire nation cannot be blamed for the misdeed of an individual," the statement said.
Sarna described as unfortunate the protest outside the US Embassy in Delhi on Monday by certain political organisations. He said such action served no purpose and was aimed perhaps at gaining cheap publicity and political mileage.
Sarna announced that the DSGMC would honour the brave US police officer, who was injured in the attack, with a gallantry award of 5,000 US dollars. He said that in this hour all should remain calm and pray for the recovery of the injured and also hold prayers for those who perished in the attack.
World Sikh Council - America region condoles death
The World Sikh Council - America Region (WSC-AR) has expressed shock and said that its members were deeply saddened by the senseless shooting which occurred at the Wisconsin gurdwara.
In a statement e-mailed to HT, WSC-AR offered its condolences and support to the victims, their families, the law-enforcement agencies, especially the police officer shot in the line of duty, and the surrounding community. "This is a troubling day, not only for Sikh-Americans, but also for all Americans," the statement said.
In the coming days, along with Sikh advocacy organisations, the Council will be working with public officials and law enforcement authorities, to understand the events at Wisconsin and to help the community.
"We urge all to pray for the victims, their families and friends, and the surrounding community. We also express our gratitude towards the law enforcement authorities for their prompt and effective response to the situation as it unfolded. We offer our appreciation for the bravery of the police officer shot and pray that he recovers soon," the statement said.