Oak Creek (Wisconsin), Aug 8 (IANS) “Struck by calm & composure of victim families. No trace of rancour. But their tears would fill an ocean, make it overflow.”
So tweeted India’s Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, after an emotional meeting Tuesday with the families of six worshippers shot dead in Sunday’s rampage by a gunman at a gurdwara in this Milwaukee suburb.
Flying down from Washington amid an all-round outpouring of support with peace rallies and candlelight vigils in dozens of cities, Rao offered her sympathies and promised all assistance on behalf of the Indian government.
Rao also met the family of Satwant Singh Kaleka, the slain president of the gurdwara, who confronted the shooter, Wade Michael Page, and helped save the lives of several worshippers in his congregation.
Later in the evening, Rao attended a community vigil in honour of the shooting victims and made a “beautiful” speech. “Thankyou for coming Ms. Rao. Yr words wr so peaceful,” tweeted an attendee.
Rao also met Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi, besides officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the local police who provided her a first hand assessment of the ongoing investigation of the shooting incident.
The envoy was briefed on how the incident happened and the steps that are now being taken by the police and local administration for the protection of the Sikh community as well as the status of the investigation.
In another tweet, Rao thanked Joseph Crowley, a Democratic leader on Sikh-American issues in the US Congress, and 92 other members of Congress for urging the FBI to collect separate data on hate crimes against Sikh Americans.