US and India Express Condemnation and Condolences as Sikhs Grieve

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosting Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna/ Credit: State Dept.

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Washington, DC – The top US diplomat on a trip to the African continent took time to speak with her Indian counterpart, as police identified the man suspected of killing six people at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin as Wade Michael Page, 40, a former member of the US Army. Page was shot dead by a responding police team.

Addressing journalists at the daily State Department briefing, Patrick Ventrell, Acting Deputy Spokesperson said, “The Secretary (Hillary Clinton) did have a chance to have a conversation with her Indian counterpart (India’s External Affairs Minister S M Krishna).”

Commenting on the call, the Indian Embassy in Washington DC said in a statement, “Secretary Clinton conveyed her sense of shock, sadness and personal condolence at the tragedy.”

Ventrell said that US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell met with Sikh and political leaders in New Delhi “to express our condolences and support for a thorough investigation into this horrific crime.”

“She also paid respects at the Bangla Sahib Gurdwara, Delhi’s largest Sikh temple,” said Ventrell, adding that in Washington, Under Secretary Wendy Sherman spoke with Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao, “to condemn this tragedy and convey our deep sympathy and condolences.”

An Indian Embassy statement said, “The Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, called Ambassador Rao this morning and was assured that the Embassy would offer all possible support to victims of the Oak Creek killings,” adding, “We understand that four out of the six victims were Indian nationals, with one of them being a recent visitor from India.”

The Embassy is keeping “continuous close contact with the US authorities as we assist the victims and their families to deal with these unspeakably tragic circumstances,” said Virander Paul, press officer of the Embassy of India. (IATNS)

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