In India, Protests Erupt Over Temple Shooting

Aug 6, 2012

In India today, Sikhs reacted with "grief and outrage" at the Sunday mass shooting at a Wisconsin gurdwara, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The Times adds:

"At the Golden Temple in Amritsar near the Pakistan border, one of the Sikh religion's most sacred shrines, officials said they were planning a three-day prayer vigil in honor of the victims. 'We are still in shock after the incident,' Avtar Singh, the president of the trust that runs the temple, told local media.

"Protesters Monday in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir blocked a national highway and waved banners calling for stronger U.S. gun laws. And Sikh parties pledged to mount a peaceful demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, as U.S. Ambassador Nancy Powell visited New Delhi's largest Sikh gurdwara in a show of solidarity over what she described as a 'ghastly act of violence.'"

As we reported earlier, India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is a Sikh, said he was "shocked and saddened" and stood "in solidarity with all the peace-loving Americans who have condemned this violence."

ITN carried a video report of the protest. Sudarshan Singh Wazir, a Sikh leader in India, said that the United States had "failed to contain terrorism in its own country."

"That is a total failure of the so called super power," Wazir said.

The New York Times points out that Sikhs in United States have suffered a variety of attacks since Sept. 11. The most notable before this one happened in 2004, when three young men beat a Sikh man into unconsciousness. Sihks, the Times explains, have been mistaken for Muslims.

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