Several Indian American community leaders join hands to stage protests before Pakistani and Chinese consulates.
CHICAGO: Saddened by last week’s attacks on Indian paramilitary forces in the Pulwama region of Kashmir, Indian Americans from the Chicagoland area have decided to come together and hold a peaceful protest on Thursday, February 21. A candle light protest will be held outside the Pakistan Consulate in Chicago and the protestors will also march to the Chinese consulate.
A suicide attack on a convoy of vehicles carrying Central Reserve Police Force personnel on February 14, 2019, resulted in the deaths of 40 CRPF men and the attacker. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the carnage.
J.D. Diganvker, a community activist and former congressional candidate, who is one of the organizers of the protest, said, “The Indian community is deeply pained by this mindless barbaric act. We are grieving for our slain soldiers and at the same time we want Pakistan to take strict actions against the terrorists. We want the world community to take note. We all know terrorism has no place in the world today and we want the world to urge Pakistan to respond with stringent actions. The protest will be an absolutely peaceful one and we will be giving a memorandum to the Pakistani Embassy.”
Diganvker said various Indian American community leaders are joining forces to show a unified front to be a part of this protest. They include prominent Indian American leaders from the area such as Dr. Bharat Barai, Dr Vijay Prabhakar, Dr. Sham Sheth, Nirav Patel, Amitabh Mittal, Iftekhar Sharif, Harish Kolasani, Siddesh Shevade, Sunil Shah and Hemant Patel, among others.
The main objectives of the protest, according to the organizers, are to expose the barbaric nature of Pakistani terrorism, to wake up the world against Pakistan- and China-supported terrorism and to call on world powers to take strong actions against such acts.
In the next few days, several events are also being planned across the country and in Chicagoland to express solidarity with the victims of recent attacks and bring attention to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism across the world.
On Monday evening, from 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm, there will be a candlelight vigil and peaceful protest at Dan Shanower Memorial in the Naperville suburb of Chicago. On Wednesday, protestors will gather between 11.00 am to 3.00 pm at the Indian Consulate General office in Chicago. For the Thursday protest, the organizers would assemble at Chicago Downtown around 11.30 am. Anticipating a big response from the community, the organizers have also arranged for bus pick-ups from several locations.
The community leaders said that the incident has really shaken the community and every Indian American wants to do his and her part.
Correction: In a previous version of this story, the headline mentioned that the protest will be held on February 19. The error is regretted.