Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) – Los Angeles (LA) and Orange County (OC) chapters strongly and unequivocally condemn the heinous act of violent shooting that took lives of 14 innocent people and injured many more at Inland Regional Center (IRC), San Bernardino, CA on morning of Wednesday, December 02, 2015. “Our hearts go out to the victims of this unfortunate tragedy. OPIO-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 holidays and Christmas by having group luncheons and dinner parties. Exactly that kind of festivities were taking place at IRC, San Bernardino 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.

GOPIO-LA/OC CONDEMN SAN BERNADINO SHOOTINGInternational 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, 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 for this to happen. 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 GOPIO LA chapter.

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 that 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 San Bernardino community to pledge not to be cowed down by such cowardly acts of intolerance and violence.

GOPIO is a secular, non-political, not-for-profit, international organization based in USA with chapters in various countries, representing the interests and aspirations of People of Indian Origin (PIOs), and promoting awareness and understanding of issues of concern to global NRI/PIO community including social, cultural, educational and economic, as well as enhancing cooperation and communication among groups of Indians living in various countries and with India. For more information, contact Navin Gupta, President GOPIO-LA at navin.gupta. HYPERLINK (909-718-9478), Dilip Butani, President GOPIO-OC at  (tel: 562-569-6722).

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