Indian Embassy to the U.S.
Press Statement on Murder of Arizona Sihk
Washington, D.C.
September 17, 2001

The Embassy of India is deeply grieved to learn of the death of Mr. Balbir Singh Sodhi, a member of the Indian-American community belonging to the Sikh faith. Mr. Sodhi died after he was shot on September 15, 2001 at his gas station in Mesa, Arizona.

On hearing of Mr. Sodhi’s death, Ambassador Lalit Mansingh spoke to White House authorities underlining the need to prevent any such crime against persons of Indian origin on the basis of mistaken identity. The Ambassador was assured of full cooperation at the highest level.

India’s Consul General in San Francisco also brought the shooting incident immediately to the notice of Attorney General of Arizona and the Mayor of Phoenix. The Ambassador also spoke to the bereaved family members and expressed his deep sympathies. The need to prevent attacks on innocent people of Indian origin was also conveyed by Prime Minister Vajpayee to President Bush during his telephonic conversation on September 16, 2001. President Bush readily agreed that these attacks should not happen.

India has expressed its deep sympathies with the tragedy that has befallen on the American people. The Government and people of India stand with the United States in this fight against terrorism and have offered their full cooperation to the United States.