Indian-Americans mourn Pulwama terror attack victims

Last Updated 22 February 2019, 09:21 IST

Over 300 Indian-Americans gathered at the India House here to express their solidarity and mourn the killing of 40 Indian soldiers in one of the worst terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.

At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed on February 14 in a suicide attack claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group.

A condolence meeting was organised by India Culture Center Houston and Indian-American Community of Greater Houston during which the terror attack in Kashmir unanimously.

They urged that all nations need to stand together with India and the US in their fight against those carrying out such "brutal crimes".

Officials present at the prayer meeting were Deputy Consul General of India Surendra Adhana, district representatives of US Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, representatives of Congressman Al Green, Congressman Dan Crenshaw and FortBend county judge K P George.

They read statements from US lawmakers strongly condemning the "barbaric act of terrorism" in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district and conveyed deepest condolences to the government of India.

"We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. The United States stands alongside India in confronting terror and defeating it," they said.

Describing the Pulwama terrorist attack as a "despicable act" of violence, top Texas lawmakers rallied behind India's effort to fight terrorism and said such "heinous" crimes will not weaken the resolve of its people.

Deputy Consul General Surendra Adhana read Prime Minister Modi's statement against terrorism and praised valour and strength of security forces.

Adhana appreciated the bipartisan support mentioning over 60 Congressmen and senators.

Various Indian American Organisations' heads spoke at the occasion and conveyed deepest condolences.

"We as Indian-Americans are from two lands, which both abhor and stand against terrorism, and such acts wont be acceptable by any nation," said Jagdip Ahluwalia of Indo American Chamber of Commerce.

"As an Indian-American, I feel a part of their community and am here to pray for their peace and well-being," said Gitesh Desai, Sewa International Houston president.

"Violent terriorist acts are never acceptable and must be condemned by us all," said prominent Indian-American leader Jiten Agarwal.

Similar events were held in various temples in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, throughout the week.

Participants have been urging the Indian government "to take steps to severely punish" the JeM and other terrorist organisations.

The protest is organised by Friends of Indian Society International and supported by Kashmiri Pandits of Greater Houston and Indian Community of Greater Houston.

"Pakistan is the fountainhead of global terrorism. Any western country which has participated in the war on jihadi terror has suffered from attacks coming from terrorists based out of Pakistan," said activist and spokesperson Achalesh Amar of Friends of India Society International.

"By staging these protests outside the consulate we want to send a clear and loud message that terrorists and terrorist sympathisers would be eliminated," Amar said.

Meanwhile, Indian-American community will hold peaceful mass protest over the Pulwama terrorist attack against Pakistan sponsored terrorism outside the Pakistani consulate in Houston early Friday.

(Published 22 February 2019, 08:48 IST)

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