Obama’s visit ‘will prevent hate crimes against Sikhs’

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Old 25-Oct-2010
Obama’s visit ‘will prevent hate crimes against Sikhs’

Chandigarh October 25:

Senior state Congress leader and party whip Kewal Singh Dhillon, while appreciating the clarification given by the SGPC on US President Barack Obama’s proposed visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, said today that steps should be taken to ensure that the visit was not cancelled.

In a statement here, Dhillon said since US officials had already visited Amritsar and had been briefed on security arrangements, the clarification given by the SGPC that the issue of headgear would be sorted out should clear the way for Obama’s visit. He said the US President’s visit to the Golden Temple would not only be an honour for Punjab, but would also help US citizens to understand the Sikhism and ensure that Sikhs abroad did not become an object of hate crime by being mistaken for the Muslims.

Meanwhile, former Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh in a statement here took umbrage at Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s appeal to the Prime Minister to ensure Obama’s visit to Amritsar goes ahead. Bir Devinder said US officials had been briefed on the maryada to be observed during the visit and that the state must not beseech anyone to ensure the visit.

Bir Devinder also claimed that the visit had been “scuttled and sabotaged” by Indian intelligence and security agencies. He said he was sure the issue of covering the head was no issue for the US President. Meanwhile, in a separate release, Sikh Nation Organisation chief Dr MS Randhawa claimed that Obama’s visit to Amritsar would still take place. He said the visit was taking place due to efforts of the American Sikh community and that “trivial considerations can never affect the well- thought decisions of the American President.”

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