Chivukula Condemns Killing at Wisconsin Sikh Temple
The NJ Assemblyman — who is running for the NJ 7th Congressional District seat — says he will closely monitor the investigation.
NJ Assembly Deputy Speaker Upendra J. Chivukula has condemned the actions of the gunman who shot six people to death and injured three others when he opened fire at a Sikh temple this Sunday in Wisconsin. The assailant himself, Wade Michael Page, was shot and killed by police.
Chivukula issued the following statement:
"I am shocked and saddened by Sunday's senseless violence.
"The killing of innocent people at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin is a dastardly act, made even more despicable by the fact that it was at a place of worship, where men, women and children congregate to offer prayers.
"I plan to closely monitor the investigation of the killing, including allegations that racial bias may have been the motivation for the attack on a Sikh temple.
"This terrible act of violence by a former member of the armed forces is even more reprehensible, considering that our brave men and women in uniform make the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to protect our nation and our lives.
"Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and friends and the entire Oak Creek Sikh community. We are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers as we also pray for an end to such brutal acts of killing."
In wake of deadly Wisconsin shooting, Sikh leaders in New Jersey are saying that many people around the world misunderstand their religion and are calling for more education.
Chivukula is part of a new "Leadership Network" for Asian American candidates. Chivukula was born in 1950 in Nellore, India, and emigrated to the United States in 1974. A spokesperson reports that Chivukula is Hindu, and "is respectful of all faiths, including Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Jains."
Chivukula, who lives in Franklin Township, Somerset County, is challenging incumbent Leonard Lance, a Republican, for the 7th Congressional district seat.
The 7th district has recently been redistricting and now covers large portions of Union, Morris, Hunterdon and Somerset counties, parts of Warren County, and Millburn in Essex County.
In Union County, the 7th Congressional district includes Berkeley Heights, Clark, Cranford, Garwood, Kenilworth, Mountainside, New Providence, a portion of Scotch Plains, Springfield, Summit, a portion of Union, Westfield and Winfield.