Hate attacks taken up with US government at ‘very high levels’

Making an impactful comeback on her first day in Parliament since undergoing kidney transplant in December, minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj dismissed Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s charge that the government was silent on hate attacks against Indians in the US and said the issue had been taken up with the US government at “very high levels”.

“That we have been silent on the attacks is far from reality. That is not how this government works. In fact, even if one Indian living abroad is aggrieved, we try and solve his problem within 24 hours. The government is committed to ensuring the safety and security of the Indian diaspora,” said Swaraj, showing flashes of the oratorial skills that she is well known for.

Making a detailed statement in the Lok Sabha on recent ‘hate’ attacks against Indians in the US — which killed engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Kansas and Harnish Patel in South Carolina, apart from injuring Deep Rai in Kent, Washington and Ashok Madasani (in the Kansas incident) — Swaraj cited the separate statements by US President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, condemning the incidents as well as their ongoing investigation by agencies including FBI to highlight the “prompt and clear response of the US political leadership and the law enforcement authorities”.

Stating that safety and security of Indian diaspora abroad was a top priority of the Modi regime, Swaraj said both the Prime Minister and she had closely followed incidents in the US and supervised the government’s response, which included dialogue with US government and reaching out to families of the victims.