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4 members of Sikh family shot dead in US home; ‘not hate crime’ says Sushma Swaraj

The Indian Consulate in New York on its official Twitter account said the officials were in ‘constant touch’ with the West Chester Township Police and ‘the family’.

SNS | New Delhi |

Four members of a Sikh family, including three women, were fatally shot dead in their home in Ohio’s Cincinnati in the United States, authorities said.

The victims who died of gunshot wounds in their home in a suburban Ohio community were found by another relative who called the police, West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog said.

“My wife and three other family members were on the ground and bleeding… they’re bleeding from the head,” a man said on the 911 call that was released by the police.

A local religious leader on Monday identified the deceased to Cincinnati Enquirer as Hakikat Singh Panag, 59, his wife, Paramjit Kaur, 62, their daughter, Shalinder Kaur, 39, and his sister-in-law, Amarjit Kaur, 58.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Tuesday that she was informed of the crime in the US and did not believe it to be a hate crime.

She said one among the killed was an Indian national who was on a visit to the US, while the others were persons of Indian origin.

Swaraj further said the matter was under investigation by the police adding that India’s Consul General in New York was coordinating with the concerned authorities.

All the members were shot to death around 9:50 pm (local time) on Sunday, a report said.

A coroner said all four deaths were homicides and they died from “gunshots.”

The Indian Consulate in New York on its official Twitter account said the officials were in “constant touch” with the West Chester Township Police and “the family”.

“Our condolences to the bereaved family. We are in constant touch with the Police and family. We are confident about the culprit being brought to book,” the Indian consulate in New York tweeted.

Members of a Gurdwara at Guru Nanak Society of Greater Cincinnati said the four family members had worshipped there.

A motive behind the slayings remains unclear, and there were no indications if it was a hate crime, the report said.

No suspect has been identified.

Such violent crime is rare in the township of some 62,000 people roughly 323 kilometers north of Cincinnati.

Police chief Herzog reassured residents on Monday that he did not think there was a threat to the community and that the killings appear “isolated”.

(With agency inputs)