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U.S. FedEx facility shooting | Sikhs calls for gun reforms in U.S.

Members of the Sikh Coalition gather at the Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis in Indianapolis on April 17, 2021 to formulate the groups’ response to the shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis that claimed the lives of four members of the Sikh community.   | Photo Credit: AP

Members of Indianapolis’ tight-knit Sikh community joined with city officials to call for gun reforms on Saturday as they mourned the deaths of four Sikhs who were among the eight people killed in a mass shooting at a FedEx warehouse.

At a vigil attended by more than 200 at an Indianapolis park on Saturday evening, Aasees Kaur, who represented the Sikh Coalition, spoke out alongside the city’s Mayor and other elected officials to demand action that would prevent such attacks from happening again.

“We must support one another, not just in grief, but in calling our policymakers and elected officials to make meaningful change,” Ms. Kaur said. “The time to act is not later, but now. We are far too many tragedies, too late, in doing so.”

The attack was another blow to the Asian American community a month after authorities said six people of Asian descent were killed by a gunman in the Atlanta area and amid ongoing attacks against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

About 90% of the workers at the FedEx warehouse near the Indianapolis International Airport are members of the local Sikh community, police said on Friday.

Kiran Deol, who attended the vigil in support of family members affected by the shooting, said loopholes in the law that make it easier for individuals to buy guns “need to be closed now,” and emphasized that anyone who tries to buy a firearm should be required to have their background checked.

One of the victims of Thursday night’s shooting was Amarjit Sekhon, a 48-year-old Sikh mother of two sons who was the breadwinner of her family.

The coalition says about 5,00,000 Sikhs live in the U.S. Many practicing Sikhs are visually distinguishable by their articles of faith, which include the unshorn hair and turban.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 5:41:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/sikh-community-and-lawmakers-seek-investigation-into-indianapolis-shooting-as-potential-hate-crime/article34349314.ece

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