Sikh community in US expresses shock and offer prayers for shooting victims in Connecticut


Washington, December 14, 2012: Sikh community in United States is expressing shock at the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut and is offering prayers for the victims of the shooting in an elementary school. Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, said, "The news of killing of innocent children in Newtown at Sandy Hook Elementary School is most appalling and shocking. It is tremendously upsetting that this kind of tragedy takes the lives of our small children and our educators. They did not deserve this and no one should be facing this kind of situation in nation where our loved ones are taken away. We are heartbroken today."

He added, "We send our heartfelt condolences to the families and our prayers are with them. At this time, we have to come together to express our love and support to the victims and their families." Amardeep Kaleka, son of the Sikh Gurdwara President who was killed in the shooting in Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, said from Oak Creek, "It feels like revisiting the tragedy again which affected me and my family. These bullets are hitting us again. I can feel the pain that these families must be going through. As I am preparing to take my father's ashes for immersion, I offer prayers from my sad heart."

He added, "The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin specifically wishes to express it's condolences and is sending their best intention and energy to the parents of the children and the victims' families who have lost so much."

Dr. Rajwant Singh added. "While we just marked the four month anniversary of shooting in the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek Wisconsin where six lives were taken by a lone gunman, Sikh community empathizes with the families of the victims of this national tragedy. These kinds of violent occurrences are happening too often and it needs a concerted response from all in the society. The time has come to be proactive. Our Children are our most precious gifts and they need safe and healthy environment."

He also appealed to all Sikh gurdwaras to hold candle light vigils and to offer prayers for the affected families this weekend. He also appreciated that President Obama has decided to fly US flags at half-staff just as he had done in the aftermath of Wisconsin shooting.

Kaleka also appealed on behalf of victims of the recent tragedies, "I write this with a heavy heart. This morning, another tragedy struck in Connecticut with nearly 30 people killed. 20 small children dead. Please Turn your anger, sadness, and disgust into positive action... I did. Send this message to those who want to wage peace. When our small children are not safe in school, swift and decisive measures must be taken. Please join the movement.


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