Sushma Swaraj addresses Parliament on racial attacks in US, assures the safety of Indians abroad

Assuring the parliament that the government is steadfast in helping distressed Indians and Indian-origin Americans in the United States, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that the Indian authorities have taken the issue of racial attacks to the top echelons of the US administration.

Swaraj was speaking in the parliament over the racial attacks against Indians in the US after Donald Trump took over as the president.

Talking about Deep Rai, a Sikh who was shot outside his house in Seattle, Swaraj said that MEA officials reached out to his family and that he is in hospital and recuperating from the attack.

On Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was shot dead in a Texas pub on 23 February, the minister added that the government was proactive in helping his kin and that she has personally taken stock of the situation. She also read out an excerpt from a letter appreciating the work done by her ministry.

Swaraj added that many top US officials have also expressed their disgust at the racial attacks. She said that President Trump too had condemned racial attacks against minorities in his address to the US Congress.

The senior BJP leader repeatedly assured the parliament that the safety and security of Indians abroad is the utmost priority of the NDA government and added, "Even the prime minister who was busy campaigning for the elections kept track of the work done by the ministry to help those affected by racial attacks."

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, working at the Garmin headquarters in Olathe, was killed in the shooting on 23 February, while another Indian and his colleague Alok Madasani was critically injured and battled for life at a local hospital. One other identified as Ian Grillot was also injured in the shooting.

The accused, Adam Purinton, 51, was arrested the next day, five hours after the incident.

On the other hand, on 5 March, Deep Rai, a 39-year-old Sikh, was shot outside his house but survived the attack.

The US had assured India of "speedy justice" to the Indian-American victims of suspected hate-crimes as the Indian envoy reached out to the State Department to convey his "deep concerns" over such tragic incidents.

It is to be noted that Swaraj made her first appearance in the Lok Sabha after undergoing a kidney transplant surgery. Immediately after she ended her statement, Speaker Mahajan appreciated her and said: "After a long time the house heard your powerful voice."

(With inputs from agencies)

Updated Date: Mar 15, 2017 16:49 PM

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