Indian-American Lawmakers Recount US Capitol Siege

Indian-American lawmakers Jayapal, Krishnamoorthi, Bera & Khanna took shelter inside the US Capitol.

Updated
Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, Dr Ami Bera and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal have been re-elected to the US House of Representatives in 2020.
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As an armed, violent pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, 6 January, all four Indian American lawmakers – Pramila Jayapal from Washington, Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois, Ami Bera and Ro Khanna, both from California – took shelter at safe places inside the capitol and waited for the chaos to die down.

“It was a very scary moment,” Jayapal told Seattle Times, recounting the incident. She said she “crouched behind a railing in the House gallery, seeking shelter from a scene that more closely resembled a terrorist attack than a peaceful transfer of power".

“We were there when shots began to be fired into the chamber, we saw, from where I was sitting, I could see Capitol Police with their guns drawn,” Jayapal told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.

“I was closing my eyes and praying to whoever was listening that there would be peace, that there would be no violence.”

The lawmakers present were asked to lie on the floor as protesters faced off with the Capitol Police.

“This is not a good moment for America,” Krishnamoorthi said while barricaded in a safe location inside the Capitol complex as law enforcement battled with armed Trump supporters.

“There is no question in my mind that the finger should be pointed directly at the President of the United States, Donald Trump, and everybody that played along with him,” Jayapal said.

“I feel very saddened and distressed it’s come to this. I think this is what happens when you have a leader who doesn’t appeal to our best instincts but to our darkest instincts,” said Krishnamoorthi.

‘Dangerous and Disgusting’

Indian-American Lawmakers Recount US Capitol Siege
(Photo: Screenshot/@RepBera/Twitter)

“The storming of the US Capitol is dangerous and disgusting,” said Rep Ami Bera, the longest serving Indian-American Congressman.

Indian-American Lawmakers Recount US Capitol Siege
(Photo: Screenshot/@RoKhanna/Twitter)

Rep Ro Khanna, too, took to Twitter to blame the violence as being incited by the sitting President.

"Trump was rejected in courts by people his party appointed, rejected by states where his party was in power & now by his party’s Senate leader & VP [sic],” he wrote.

“Democracy is still sacred for Americans. That spirit will overcome today’s violence. Prayers for the injured.”

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