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'U.S. will stand by Sikhs'


By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, SEPT. 19. The U.S. Ambassador to India, Mr. Robert Blackwill, visited Gurdwara Bangla Sahib here today to express the ``solidarity of the U.S. Government with the entire Sikh community,'' particularly those living in the U.S.

``I've come to this holy place to tell my Sikh brethren that they hold dear to my country,'' he said, appearing in public for the first time after the September 11 terrorist strikes in the U.S. Allaying the fears of the Sikhs in the wake of the September 15 killing of Balbir Singh Sodhi in Mesa, Arizona, he said ``the U.S. President has warned that such acts will not be tolerated and the guilty will be prosecuted.''

Mr. Blackwill, after offering his prayers, said he had come with a message from the Attorney of Maricopa County where Sodhi was killed. The Attorney, Mr. Richard M. Romley, had said in a statement ``on September 15, America was again attacked, not by foreign terrorists but by an American citizen. The attack resulting in the brutal murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi was an attack upon America's most fundamental freedoms.

The Union Food and Chemicals Minister, Mr. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, said India stood with the U.S. in these difficult times.

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