The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin-Los Angeles and Orange County chapters strongly and unequivocally condemn the heinous act of violent shooting that took the lives of 14 innocent people and injured many more at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif., on the morning of Dec. 2, 2015. “Our hearts go out to the victims of this unfortunate tragedy. GOPIO-LA/OC members share the pain and anguish of affected families and convey their heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” said Navin Gupta, president GOPIO-Los Angeles.

This is the time of the year when people enjoy the festive time of the holidays and Christmas by having group luncheons and dinner parties. Exactly that kind of festivities was taking place at IRC when an inconsiderate and ungracious individual along with his spouse decided to shoot at random his own co-workers. “This kind of violence is unacceptable in any community anywhere,” said Dilip Butani, president, GOPIO-Orange County.

International terrorism, domestic terrorism, religious intolerance, mental depression, and loneliness are some of the causes of such barbaric actions. New York’s 9/11 attacks, Mumbai’s 26/11 attacks, the Paris attacks, Columbine school attacks, New Town attacks, and Wisconsin Sikh Temple attacks are a few examples of violent behaviors of some unguided groups or inhumane individuals. We share the belief that such crimes and callous acts have no place in civilized society. The world must not let it continue. Nations as well as religious groups must get together and form a coalition to stand up and fight against the barbaric acts of violence. “We urge all parents regardless of their religious beliefs or ethnic backgrounds to teach their children the value of tolerance, peaceful co-habitation, and individual freedom,” said Kewal Kanda, former president of the GOPIO-LA chapter.

The GOPIO-LA/OC chapters commend the first responders for their quick, methodical, and diligent efforts to provide emergency services and secure the crime scene that saved many lives. We are confident the San Bernardino community will show their resilience and rise above this tragedy and rebuild its pride while retaining its courage, sense of dignity, and freedom. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the San Bernardino community to pledge not to be cowed down by such cowardly acts of intolerance and violence.

The president of GOPIO-Metropolitan Washington, Zafar Iqbal, added: The Metro-Washington chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin unequivocally condemns the horrific act of killing of 14 people at the Inland Regional Center. We offer our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the injured, to the families of those who have been killed. We stand in mourning, in sadness, for what happened.

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