Delhi asks US to ensure security to Indian diaspora

Delhi asks US to ensure security to Indian diaspora

Krishna wants Washington to protect places of worship

Post-killing of six Sikh worshippers at a Gurudwara in the US, New Delhi has asked Washington to send out a “strong message of reassurance” to the Indian community in America and requested heightened security at places of worship.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna spoke to his American counterpart Hillary Clinton and requested her to conduct a “full and prompt investigation” into the killing of Sikh worshippers at a Gurudwara at Wisconsin state in a suspected ‘hate crime’ by a former United States Army officer on Sunday last.

The External Affairs Minister spoke to the United States Secretary of State, who was in South Africa, over telephone late on Monday night.

“We have conveyed our anguish to the United States. The Sikhs in the US have played a very significant and useful role. They needed to be reassured that such heinous crimes will not take place again and that religious places will be given additional protection,” Krishna told journalists after receiving a delegation from the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee led by its chief Avtar Singh Makkar, at his residence.

Krishna said that Indians in America should get “an assurance from President Barack Obama’s administration” that they are safe and the interests of the community would be safeguarded.

Report awaited

The External Affairs Minister also suggested to Hillary Clinton to beef up the security around all the places of worship in the United States. “On both accounts, I found Secretary Clinton more than willing to do it. And she is as disturbed as anyone of us in India,” he added.

Krishna said that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation had already swung into action to probe the incident and Clinton was waiting for the preliminary report from the agency. “Once they are in possession of the report, they will convey it to the Government of India,” he said.

The SGPC chief Makkar said, “Earlier, after 9/11 also, Sikhs were targeted. This time our place of worship was targeted, a first so far. The confidence of all Sikhs across the world has been shattered due to the incident,” he told the Minister.

India warms up to Latin America

Seeking to make a belated foray into Latin American and Caribbean countries and join the race with China to spread diplomatic tentacles in the resource-rich region, India on Tuesday started its engagement with the CELAC – a newly-constituted bloc of 33 nations, reports DHNS from New Delhi.

External Affairs Minister Krishna and his counterparts from Chile, Cuba and Venezuela agreed to focus on enhancing India’s trade with the CELAC nations, at present just a fraction of China’s trade with Latin American and Caribbean countries. The ministers agreed to set up an India-CELAC Business Council and India-CELAC CEOs’ Forum, in addition to an Energy Forum, an Agricultural Expert Group and a Science Forum. “We chose India for the first international engagement of the CELAC. The bilateral trade volume between India and CELAC is far below the potential and is just about one tenth of the trade volume that we have with China,” said Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno Charme.

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