2.53pm: The Punjab government has said that it will bear the entire expenditure of transporting the bodies of the US gurdwara shooting victims. Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who himself headed for Wisconsin for the wedding function of cabinet colleague Surjit Singh Rakhra’s niece, said the Punjab government would bear the cost of transporting the bodies to India for the last rites as a mark of respect.
According to a spokesperson Badal contacted Indian ambassador Nirupama Rao Monday night to tell her that the state government would extend all possible help to the bereaved families of the victims of the incident.
“The chief minister sought cooperation from the Indian embassy in the US to facilitate the smooth transportation of the bodies by keeping close liaison with the concerned agencies in the US government,” the spokesperson said.
On Monday, Badal had visited the residence of two brothers, Sita Singh and Ranjit Singh, of New Delhi’s Tilak Nagar who were killed in the shootout.
He has also announced an ex-gratia grant of Rs.100,000 each for the next of kin of the Sikh victims killed in the incident.
1.20pm: A state-run Chinese daily Tuesday criticised America for the deadly shooting at a gurdwara, saying that despite having the most advanced defence ability, “the US government cannot prevent its citizens from falling victim to domestic gun crime”.
An article in the Op-Ed section of the Global times stressed that repeated incidents also offer lessons to developing countries, which tend to model their social governance on developed states.
The daily criticised Washington for failing to effectively address the holes in the gun law.
“After the latest carnage, the American public has started speculating about when the next tragedy will happen. To politicians, gun ownership is an explosive issue,” it said. “Despite having the most advanced defense ability, the US government cannot prevent its citizens from falling victim to domestic gun crime. Freedom is an important element of US soft power, but the freedom to own a gun probably has the opposite effect,” it added.
Pointing out that the US is among the world’s top countries in terms of casualties of gun-related incidents, the daily said that as the debate over gun and firearms ownership continues and politicians dodge the issue, “more innocent lives have been claimed”.
The daily went on say that though religious and racial inclusiveness have long been lofty goals of the US, “in reality, discrimination among different religions, races and social classes has never been resolved, constantly fuelling serious social incidents”.
“The repeated incidents also offer lessons to developing countries, which tend to model their social governance on developed states.”
1.15pm: The latest reports on Wade Michael Page, identified as the gunman involved in Sunday’s terror strike on a Sikh temple in the US have indicated that he was being watched by federal investigators, but was not deemed to be a ‘risk’ to society.
The investigators were ‘looking at’ Wade Michael Page more than once because of his associations with right-wing extremists and the possibility that he was providing funding to a domestic terrorist group.
12.15pm: Laura Lynn, the mother of Wade Michael Page who has been identified as the gunman responsible for the Gurdwara killings, has apologized to the victims and said she is “devastated that her precious little boy turned out to be a killer”, reports the Daily Mail.
Lynn reportedly said that she had not had any contact with Page since divorcing his father.
11.40am: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna has spoken to US Secretary of state Hillary Clinton in the aftermath of the Wisconsin Gurdwara attack, and asked her to do more to protect all places of worship in the United States.
Krishna also sought assurances from her to do more to protect the Indian community in the US, and he said she had been perfectly amendable to both suggestions. “Secretary Clinton is as disturbed as any of us”, he said.
Krishna had also asked for further details on the investigation.
11.00am: More details are coming to light on Wade Michael Page, identified as the gunman who killed six people in a Wisconsin gurdwara. He has been described as a person who regularly attended hate events, was an ardent believer in the white supremacist movement and was associated with rock bands whose violent music talked about murdering Jews and black people. Read more