San Jose-California (US)
September 28, 2015

The US Sikh Congressional Caucus raised the issues of religious freedom and violence against the minority communities in India, with Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi during later’s visit to the Silicon valley in California. Caucus’s Co-Chair Johan Geramandi in a statement issued here stated that he raised the matter relating the religious freedom of minorities including he Sikhs with Modi who gave him patient hearing.

Geramani stated that, he had “the opportunity to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Silicon Valley. As a member of Congress and as the Co-Chair of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, I represent a large Indian American population, including many Sikhs. Many of my constituents are deeply concerned about the treatment of religious and ethnic minorities in India”.

In the message to Harpreet Singh, a prominent Sikh leader in US and Executive Director Friends of the Sikh Caucus, Geramandi said that he discussed the issues relating minority communities’ safety with Modi. “Religious freedom and access to justice are rights we cherish here in America. But these are not just American values. We believe that everyone in the world deserves the same access to these fundamental rights. All of India’s religious and ethnic minorities, including its substantial Sikh population, deserve to practice their religion and customs without government interference as long as human rights and individual conscience are respected”, said he.

American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC) President JS Hothi and Coordinator Dr.Pritpal Singh meanwhile thanked Geramandi and other office bearers of the Caucus for raising the issue of violence against the Sikhs in India with Mr.Modi. “We appreciate that caucus is always concerned regarding the human rights issue of the Sikhs”, said Dr.Pritpal Singh.

Another Member of the caucus Jerry Macnerny also stated that he had met Modi to discuss issues that are important to my constituents and our country. “As we become more and more globally connected through technological advancements, it is critical that we foster productive dialogue that boosts peace and prosperity around the world. This is especially important when it comes to protecting human rights and civil and religious freedoms — the values of democracy that are the founding principles of the United States”, said he.

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