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US Sikhs to hold semestral function remembering the Oak Creek shooting; SCORE want action against gun violence

February 2, 2013 | By

Washington, United States (February 1, 2013): According to a recent press release by Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) Sikhs in United States shall be observing six months of a gun-shooting attack on a Sikh Gurudwara at Oak Creek, Milwaukee, Wis. (USA) on February 5, 2013.

A distraught women is helped to a car outside of the Sikh Gurudwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin [File Photo – August 05, 2012]

“February 5th marks six-month anniversary of the shooting at the Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman of the Washington based Sikh Council on Religion and Education, has appealed to all the Sikh gurdwaras to observe it as ‘Ardas Diwas’ A Prayer Day” reads the statement.

In an advisory, Dr. Rajwant Singh reportedly said, “We appeal to all Gurdwaras across the nation to observe the six month anniversary of the Oak Creek Gurdwara shootingon Sunday, February 3rd, by organizing an Ardas Diwas and offer prayers for the families of the Oak Creek and all victims of gun violence in America.”

Nishan Sahib Sewa at Oak Creek Sikh Gurudwara Sahib [File Photo]

In addition, he asked Gurdwaras to inspire Sikh congregants to take action against gun violence in America. The appeal said, “During the service, we also request the Gurudwaras to stress the importance of Sikh community members to speak out and to ask congregants to contact their representatives to support gun control measures.”

Amardeep Kaleka, son of the President of the Oak Gurdwara who was killed along with five other Sikhs by a lone gun man on August 5, 2012, said, “As a congregation (Sangat) we would be honored if all Sikh Gurudwaras could take a moment to do prayer with us in order to remember the 6 month anniversary of those who gave their life at the Sikh temple of Wisconsin.”

Raghuvinder Singh, grandson of Punjab Singh, who is recovering from the gun wounds in Oak Creek, said, “We are slowly coming out of the pain but are deeply saddened by what happened in Newtown and appeal to all communities to pray for all victims. We are also thankful for all the support we have gotten from all across the nation and from so many communities.”

Rana Sodhi, brother of Balbir Singh Sodhi who was killed after 9/11 in Arizona, also joined in appealing Sikhs across the US to work for gun control measures. He said, “Nobody should die from senseless killings and mass shootings and we must raise our voice.”

SCORE is urging Sikhs to join other faith communities to call members of US Congress on Monday urging them to pass gun control measures. It is appealing Sikhs to call the elected officials of US Congress and Senate on following points:

  • Require universal background checks for all gun purchases
  • Ban semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
  • Make gun trafficking a federal crime
  • Improve access to mental health services
  • Tell them that gun violence prevention laws work.

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