External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday attended Parliament for the first time since she underwent a kidney transplant three months ago. Members cutting across party lines greeted her with applause.
She soon made a statement that assured support and protection for Indians in the US, following wide-spread concern over incidents of racial attack on Indians in different parts of America. She ruled out any plan to a have travel advisory for Indians travelling to the US, as demanded by some Opposition members in the LS last week, and clarified that Washington has not enforced any travel advisory for Americans visiting India.
“I would like to reassure this House that safety and security of Indian diaspora abroad remains a top priority for this government. We are in a continuous dialogue with the US government. Close contacts with the local Indian community groups are being maintained through our embassy and consulates to address any emerging issues. We will remain vigilant to developments impacting the lives of Indians abroad and do everything possible to safeguard their interests and welfare,” Swaraj said.
Detailing the recent attacks, Swaraj said, “I would say prompt and clear response of the US political leadership and the law enforcement authorities to these incidents and the widespread messages of support from all quarters in the US give us confidence that these incidents are acts of individuals and do not represent the overwhelming sentiments of the American people towards India. This was demonstrated by American national Ian Grillot who suffered serious injuries while helping the two Indians. I have saluted his heroism and am sure the House joins me in wishing him speedy recovery.”