Influential Indian-American groups have urged the Connecticut State Assembly to rescind its official citation that congratulated a separatist Sikh body on the 36th anniversary of the so-called "declaration of Sikh independence".
In the "official citation" dated April 29, the Connecticut general assembly congratulated pro-Khalistan organisation World Sikh Parliament "in recognition of the 36th anniversary of the declaration of Sikh independence".
Scores of Indian-American groups and powerful community leaders have been writing letters to the members of the Connecticut State Assembly and its leadership underlining that such a citation questions the territorial integrity of India and undermines a growing India-US relationship.
"This citation will be detrimental to the interest of our Connecticut. Thus, we urge you to rescind this citation," Milan Cultural Association of Connecticut said, noting that this citation is a highly condemnable move by the Connecticut administration and is not at all acceptable.
"This citation proves how oblivious it's of the real issue. The state has waded into the unknown and unwanted territory without talking and consulting the larger Indian-American community in Connecticut," it said.
Federation of Indian Association (FIA), Ohio said the Connecticut State Assembly's decision to issue the citation is an "irresponsible act".
"We have noted with deep concern a Citation by the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut congratulating on Sikh independence. The irresponsible act calls into question the territorial integrity of India and lends credence to forces which desire dismemberment of India," it said.
"This can never be the will or intent of the people of Connecticut," it said.
FIA, New England said that the citation appears to have been issued based on misinformation by some fringe elements with a parochial, nefarious and deplorable agenda of sowing discord in the community for their politically motivated subversive interests.
"It is a gross misuse, rather an abuse, of the august General Assembly of Connecticut," it said.
FIA, Tri-State (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) urged the elected members of the General Assembly of Connecticut to "mitigate this very sad and unfortunate action" and take the needed steps to "promptly rectify this illegitimate act of supporting subversive activities."
Ankur Vaidya, chairman of FIA, hoped that the facts will be checked, and that truth will prevail in the General Assembly of Connecticut.
"Such despicable and deplorable action by divisive elements with selfish hidden agendas must be collectively and strongly condemned," he said.
The Association of Indians in America, New York said that this "outrageous" citation is an affront to India's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"The so-called citation is nothing but a nefarious attempt to sow division in the Indian-American community on religious lines and a manipulation of the platform of the General Assembly of Connecticut," it said.
"We strongly appeal to the lawmakers to recall the citation," it said. Jagdish Sewhani, president of the American Indian Public Affairs Committee, said this citation is "absolutely unacceptable".
"This irresponsible act of supporting the secessionist movement in India is absolutely unacceptable. The USA, the oldest democracy, and India, the largest democracy, share very close and strategic relationships," he said.
Thomas Abraham, chairman of Global Organisation for People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) International, called on the Connecticut Assembly to put out a statement disassociating itself from the citation.
"At this point, our state's interest is to attract Indian businesses and technology related companies to start their outfits in our state so as to create employment in the state. This public image of Connecticut being anti-India goes against our interests. We request that you issue a public statement to dissociate from this citation," he said.