Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday told the Lok Sabha that the Indian government was monitoring the situation in the United States, where several Indian-origin citizens were attacked recently, and said that they have raised the issue with the government and have asked for a speedy probe.
Replying to the allegations of Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge that the Modi government was silent on the attacks on Indians, Swaraj said, "There is no question of the government remaining silent. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was campaigning for the elections, but in constant touch with me over the developments on the issue."
"I was recovering from my illness, but I still called the mother and wife of Srinivas Kuchibhotla," Swaraj said.
Swaraj said that five people of the Kuchibhotla's family tried to contact her to thank for her help.
All help extended to me in time is deeply appreciated:EAM quoted in LS letter of wife of Srinivas Kuchibhotla to Indian Ambassador to the US pic.twitter.com/wpd2QmlVxa— ANI (@ANI_news) March 15, 2017
"The government has never been silent, it is not silent, it will never be silent," Swaraj said and added, "The safety and security of Indians abroad is our top most priority."
Condemning the attacks on Indians, she said:
I talked to families of Srinivas Kuchibhotla & Deep Rai,also raised these issues with highest authorities in US: EAM Sushma Swaraj in LS— ANI (@ANI_news) March 15, 2017
US authorities including Pres Donald Trump have strongly condemned these incidents: Sushma Swaraj in Lok Sabha on attacks on Indians abroad pic.twitter.com/X6rBwu1HlE— ANI (@ANI_news) March 15, 2017
She also said that Rai's family too had thanked her for all the help from the Indian government.
Swaraj also said that several senators in the US had condemned the attacks on Indians in the US. She informed the Lok Sabha that Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly had on March 9 said that all support would be provided to probes into the attacks.
Her statement comes as a reply to the allegations made by the Opposition on the first day of the second leg of the Budget session that the Modi government has been silent on the issue.
The last month has seen several attacks on Indians. Kuchibhotla was shot dead on 22 February in Kansas, while his friend Alok Madasani suffered bullet injuries when Adam W. Purinton opened fire at them. A few days later Indian businessman Harnish Patel was shot dead in Lancaster, South Carolina. In another incident a Sikh man, Deep Rai was shot and was asked to return to his "own country". However he only escaped with a bullet injury.
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